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The gradients of power: Evidence from the Chinese housing market

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  • Fang, Hanming
  • Gu, Quanlin
  • Zhou, Li-An

Abstract

Using a large, unique dataset on the Chinese housing market, we propose to measure the value of rents associated with government power using the price differences paid by bureaucrat buyers and non-bureaucrat buyers in the housing market. We find that the housing price paid by bureaucrat buyers is significantly lower than non-bureaucrat buyers, after controlling for a full set of characteristics of buyers, houses and mortgage loans. More importantly, we find that the bureaucrat price discounts exhibit salient gradients with respect to their hierarchical ranks, the criticality of their government agencies to real estate developers, and geography. Our empirical results also reveal interesting interactions of hierarchical, critical and geographical gradients of power. Our paper sheds new light on our thinking of private gains of public positions and market value of power in a broader context.

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  • Fang, Hanming & Gu, Quanlin & Zhou, Li-An, 2019. "The gradients of power: Evidence from the Chinese housing market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 32-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:176:y:2019:i:c:p:32-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.05.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanming Fang & Jing Wu & Rongjie Zhang & Li-An Zhou, 2022. "Anti-Corruption Campaign and the Resurgence of the SOEs in China:Evidence from the Real Estate Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 22-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Pan, Yinghao & Qin, Yu & Zhang, Fan & Zhu, Hongjia, 2022. "Acquiring land in cold winter: Consequences and possible explanations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    3. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Zhi & Zhang, Qinghua, 2017. "To build above the limit? Implementation of land use regulations in urban China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 223-233.
    4. Fang, Hanming & Gu, Quanlin & Zhou, Li-An, 2019. "The gradients of power: Evidence from the Chinese housing market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 32-52.
    5. Zhao, Renjie & Chen, Jie & Feng, Chen & Zhong, Shihu, 2020. "The impact of anti-corruption measures on land supply and the associated implications: The case of China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    6. Carlos Garriga & Aaron Hedlund & Yang Tang & Ping Wang, 2023. "Rural-Urban Migration, Structural Transformation, and Housing Markets in China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 413-440, April.
    7. Bu, Di & Hanspal, Tobin & Liao, Yin, 2022. "Political corruption, trust, and household stock market participation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    8. Yongheng Deng & Jing Wu & Yang Tang & ping wang, 2019. "Spatial Misallocation in Chinese Housing and Land Markets," 2019 Meeting Papers 1351, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Haoyuan Ding & Hanming Fang & Shu Lin & Kang Shi, 2020. "Equilibrium Consequences of Corruption on Firms: Evidence from China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign," NBER Working Papers 26656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Yongqiang Chu & Weida Kuang & Daxuan Zhao & Xiaoxia Zhou, 2024. "Inside job: Evidence from the Chinese housing market," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 43(1), pages 214-233, January.
    11. John M. Griffin & Clark Liu & Tao Shu, 2022. "Is the Chinese Anticorruption Campaign Authentic? Evidence from Corporate Investigations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(10), pages 7248-7273, October.
    12. Germaschewski, Yin & Horvath, Jaroslav & Rubini, Loris, 2021. "Property rights, expropriations, and business cycles in China," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    13. Agarwal,Sumit & Morais,Bernardo & Ruiz Ortega,Claudia & Zhang,Jian, 2016. "The political economy of bank lending : evidence from an emerging market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7577, The World Bank.
    14. Qian Wang & Yanan Wang & Wei Chen & Xue Zhou & Minjuan Zhao, 2021. "Factors affecting industrial land use efficiency in China: analysis from government and land market," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(7), pages 10973-10993, July.
    15. Cao, Yujin & Chen, Jidong & Zhang, Qinghua, 2018. "Housing investment in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 212-247.
    16. Ji, Xiaoqing & Liu, Shuai & Lang, Jingyi, 2022. "Assessing the impact of officials' turnover on urban economic efficiency: From the perspective of political promotion incentive and power rent-seeking incentive," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(PB).
    17. Yiyuan Ma & Youzhi Xiao, 2022. "The Substitution Effect of Chinese Anti-Corruption “Alcohol Ban”," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-13, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government power; Corruption; Housing market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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