The Usefulness of Corruptible Elections
Using a sample of rural Chines villages which have recently been the subject of democratic reforms we look for the relationship between marginal changes in the democratic process and marginal changes in economic outcomes. We find that even very poorly conducted elections can have large incentive effects. That is, even corruptible elections provide leaders with strong incentives to act in the interests of their constituents. Our findings also allow us to rank the imiprotance of four possible election reforms which have attracted the attention of international observers and academic researchers.
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