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THE USEFULNESS OF IMPERFECT ELECTIONS: THE CASE OF VILLAGE ELECTIONS IN RURAL CHINA

Loren Brandt () and Matthew Turner ()

Economics and Politics, 2007, vol. 19, issue 3, 453-480

Abstract: Using a sample of rural Chinese villages, which have recently been the subject of democratic reforms, we look for relationships 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 importance of four possible election reforms, which have attracted the attention of international observers and academic researchers.

Date: 2007
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2007.00316.x

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