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Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Villages? Project Design, Village Governance and Infrastructure Quality in Rural China

Author

Listed:
  • Liu, Chengfang
  • Zhang, Linxiu
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Luo, Renfu
  • Rozelle, Scott

Abstract

This study seeks to explain the differences in infrastructure quality across China’s villages. Using primary data on three main types of infrastructure projects in rural China, we find that a.) between-project within-village quality differences are small and project design has little explanatory power; b.) between-village variations are larger; and c.) there are strong correlations between the ways villages govern themselves and project quality. We conclude that it is difficult to make good projects work in bad communities and that there is something at the village level that is making some projects succeed in some villages, but not in others.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Chengfang & Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun & Luo, Renfu & Rozelle, Scott, 2009. "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Villages? Project Design, Village Governance and Infrastructure Quality in Rural China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 49944, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:49944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, January.
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    3. Asim Ijaz Khwaja, 2004. "Is Increasing Community Participation Always a Good Thing?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 427-436, 04/05.
    4. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 759-782.
    5. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
    6. Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2001. "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Collective Action in the Himalayas," Working Paper Series rwp01-043, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
    8. World Bank, 2000. "Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 22962.
    9. Isham, Jonathan*Narayan, Deepa*Pritchett, Lant, 1994. "Does participation improve project performance : establishing causality with subjective data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1357, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infrastructure Quality; Village; Rural China; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Public Economics; H41; H54; H71;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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