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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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  19. Monica Martinez-Bravo, 2013. "The Role Of Local Officials In New Democracies: Evidence From Indonesia," Working Papers wp2013_1302, CEMFI.
  20. 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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  23. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
  24. Loren Brandt & Matthew A. Turner, 2007. "The Usefulness Of Imperfect Elections: The Case Of Village Elections In Rural China," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 453-480, November.
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  26. 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.
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