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Neighbor effects in the provision of public goods in a young democracy: Evidence from China

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  • Agostini, Claudio A.
  • Brown, Philip H.
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

Fiscal mimicking and yardstick competition among neighboring jurisdictions have been widely documented in developed countries with long histories of democracy. However, there is very little empirical evidence concerning these practices in developing countries with young democracies. Using a primary panel of 86 rural Chinese administrative villages that have undergone transitions to democracy over the last two decades, we show that the neighborhood effect also exists in a young democracy, albeit at a lower magnitude than in a mature democracy. Elected chairs of village committees who have served more than one term respond positively to the provision of public projects in neighboring villages by increasing both the number of public projects and the funding allocated to undertake them. In contrast, appointed party secretaries with more than one year of service are insensitive to neighbors' performance. In addition, village leaders are strategic in timing the arrival of public projects to increase the probability of re-election: In the year preceding elections, both the number and budget of public projects increase significantly. In this sense, politicians in young and old democracies behave alike.

Suggested Citation

  • Agostini, Claudio A. & Brown, Philip H. & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2010. "Neighbor effects in the provision of public goods in a young democracy: Evidence from China," IFPRI discussion papers 1027, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1027
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    Cited by:

    1. Anping Chen & Marlon Boarnet & Mark Partridge & Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2014. "Interjurisdictional Tax Competition In China," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 606-628, September.
    2. Yu, Jihai & Zhou, Li-An & Zhu, Guozhong, 2016. "Strategic interaction in political competition: Evidence from spatial effects across Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 23-37.
    3. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9461-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:hpe:journl:y:2016:v:219:i:4:p:161-188 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    neighbors; Public goods;

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