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The Effects of Democratization on Public Goods and Redistribution: Evidence from China

  • Yang Yao
  • Monica Martinez Bravo

    ()

  • Gerard Padro i Miquel

    ()

  • Nancy Qia

    ()

This study investigates the effects of introducing elections on public goods and redistribution in rural China. A large and unique survey was collected to document the history of political reforms and economic policies and exploit the staggered timing of the introduction of elections for causal identification. It was found that elections significantly increase public goods expenditure. The increase corresponds to demand and is paralleled by an increase in public goods provision and local taxes. IT that elections cause significant income redistribution within villages. The results support the basic assumptions of recent theories of democratization. In addition, we show that the main mechanism underlying the effect of elections is increased leader incentives.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:5011
Note: Institutional Papers
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  9. Monica Martinez-Bravo & Gerard Padró i Miquel & Nancy Qian & Yang Yao, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," NBER Working Papers 16948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Björn Tyrefors Hinnerich & Per Pettersson‐Lidbom, 2014. "Democracy, Redistribution, and Political Participation: Evidence From Sweden 1919–1938," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 961-993, 05.
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  19. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "The role of elected and appointed village leaders in the allocation of public resources: Evidence from a low-income region in China," IFPRI discussion papers 1061, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  20. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
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  22. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  23. Monica Martinez-Bravo, 2014. "The Role of Local Officials in New Democracies: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1244-87, April.
  24. Luo, Renfu & Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2007. "Elections, fiscal reform and public goods provision in rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 583-611, September.
  25. Rozelle Scott & Boisvert Richard N., 1994. "Quantifying Chinese Village Leaders' Multiple Objectives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 25-45, February.
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