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Economic Transition and the Communist Party: an Empirical Study on the CPC Membership Using the 1988-2002 CASS CHIP Surveys

Listed author(s):
  • Sato, Hiroshi
  • Eto, Keiya

This paper, using nationally representative household surveys, examines the changes in the membership structure of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during the 1990s. We concentrate on urban China and investigate how socioeconomic characteristics of the region (city) influence the membership structure of the regional party organization, focusing on the CPC members' age structure, structure of educational level, and occupational structure.The major findings and their implications are as follows. First, it is suggested that the marketization makes it more difficult for the party to recruit well-educated and professionally qualified youths. This finding will reflect the fact the marketization has enlarged opportunities for younger generation to gain socioeconomic success without the CPC membership. Second, the finding also implies that the younger generation's incentives for joining the CPC has been increasingly important determinants of the CPC membership structure. Third, as the result, the technocratic reorganization of urban party organization seems to progress through the conventional bureaucratic-elite path in governmental and public-owned sector rather than through the newly emerging qualified professional elite path, suggesting dual elite paths in urban society.

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Paper provided by Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Papers with number 2006-11.

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Length: 29 p.
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:2006-11
Note: August, 2006 (revised November, 2006)
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