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Race to safety: Political competition, neighborhood effects, and coal mine deaths in China

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  • Shi, Xiangyu
  • Xi, Tianyang

Abstract

When political agents are subject to centralized performance evaluation, their efforts and performances tend to be correlated with one another in the “neighborhood”. Using quarterly data from prefecture-level cities in China, this paper finds evidence of positive neighborhood effects on coal mine deaths: the number of accidental deaths in a city is positively associated with those in its political neighbors. The neighborhood effects are confined by provincial borders, but do not diminish as the geographic scope of the neighborhood increases. Moreover, the effects are amplified by regulatory reforms and political cycles that increase the salience of coal mine safety. The findings of neighborhood effects on coal mine deaths are consistent with the logic of relative performance evaluation (RPE) as a mechanism for shaping policy outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Xiangyu & Xi, Tianyang, 2018. "Race to safety: Political competition, neighborhood effects, and coal mine deaths in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 79-95.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:131:y:2018:i:c:p:79-95
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.10.008
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:6:p:1370-:d:149384 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Li, Yanan & Kanbur, Ravi & Lin, Carl, 2018. "Minimum Wage Competition between Local Governments in China," IZA Discussion Papers 11893, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1046-1061 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Neighborhood effect; Coal mine death; Relative performance evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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