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Making Democracy Work: Culture, Social Capital and Elections in China

Author

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  • Padró i Miquel, Gerard
  • Qian, Nancy
  • Xu, Yiqing
  • Yao, Yang

Abstract

This paper aims to show that culture is an important determinant of the effectiveness of formal democratic institutions, such as elections. We collect new data to document the presence of voluntary and social organizations and the history of electoral reforms in Chinese villages. We use the presence of village temples to proxy for culture, or more specifically, for social (civic) capital and show that their presence greatly enhances the increase in public goods due to the introduction of elections. These results support the view that social capital complements democratic institutions such as elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Padró i Miquel, Gerard & Qian, Nancy & Xu, Yiqing & Yao, Yang, 2015. "Making Democracy Work: Culture, Social Capital and Elections in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 10515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10515
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    Cited by:

    1. He, Quqiong & Pan, Ying & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2018. "Lineage-based heterogeneity and cooperative behavior in rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 248-269.
    2. Ugo Troiano & Giacomo Ponzetto, 2012. "Social Capital, Government Expenditures, and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 1048, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Boranbay, Serra & Guerriero, Carmine, 2019. "Endogenous (in)formal institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 921-945.
    4. Alpino, Matteo & Mehlum, Halvor, 2021. "Two Notions of Social Capital," MPRA Paper 105753, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2020. "Clans, entrepreneurship, and development of the private sector in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 100-123.
    6. Wang, Shun, 2019. "Social capital and Rotating Labor Associations in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 243-253.
    7. Craig, J. Dean & Faria, Anna B., 2021. "Immigrant nationality and human capital formation in Brazil," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    8. Jiangli Dou & Bing Ye, 2018. "Informal Institutions And Local Public Investments In Rural China," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 63(04), pages 899-916, September.
    9. Dang, Duc Anh & Dang, Kim Khoi & Dang, Vuong Anh & Vu, Thi Lan, 2020. "The effects of trust and land administration on economic outcomes: Evidence from Vietnam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civic Capital; History; Institutions; Public Goods; Trust;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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