IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fth/harver/1832.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Politics, Growth and Inequality in Rural China: Does It Pay To Join the Party?

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Morduch
  • Terry Sicular

Abstract

Economic reform is difficult to carry out because it often undercuts the status and economic advantage of the rank-and-file officials to whom authorities must turn to implement market-based changes. Drawing on new longitudinal data collected between 1991 and 1994 in a representative rural county in Northern China, we demonstrate that local officials have not in fact lost out. To the contrary, their incomes have risen and political rents have increased during a period when reforms accelerated. The data suggest that political rents have stemmed largely from control over and access to new wage jobs and collective land that allows high-value agricultural production. The benefits to joining the Communist Party are largely indirect and occur through increasing the probability of becoming an official with such access. This access functions as an implicit performance-based incentive contract that ties the household incomes of officials to increases in consumer demand and the provision of public goods. Political rents are for now tolerated by a population that is sharing fairly equitably in the fruits of growth, allowing implementation of this "win-win" reform process.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Politics, Growth and Inequality in Rural China: Does It Pay To Join the Party?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1832, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1832
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    2. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, "undated". "Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms," Working Papers 97050, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:30725664 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Frye, Timothy & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 354-358, May.
    5. David D. Li, 1996. "A Theory of Ambiguous Property Rights in Transition Economies: The Case of the Chinese Non-State Sector," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 8, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Li, David D., 1996. "A Theory of Ambiguous Property Rights in Transition Economies: The Case of the Chinese Non-State Sector," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-19, August.
    7. Hare, Denise, 1994. "Rural nonagricultural activities and their impact on the distribution of income: Evidence from farm households in Southern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 59-82.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1832. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ieharus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.