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Political Selection in China: the Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance

Ruixue Jia, Masayuki Kudamatsu () and David Seim ()
Additional contact information
Ruixue Jia: University of California San Diego
David Seim: Department of Economics, University of Toronto, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden, https://www.ifn.se/eng/people/research-faculty/david-seim

No 1003, Working Paper Series from Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Abstract: Who becomes a top politician in China? We focus on provincial leaders a pool of candidates for top political office and examine how their chances of promotion depend on their performance in office and connections with top politicians. Our empirical analysis, based on the curriculum vitae of Chinese politicians, shows that connections and performance are complements in the Chinese political selection process. This complementarity is stronger the younger provincial leaders are relative to their connected top leaders. To provide one plausible interpretation of these empirical findings, we propose a simple theory in which the complementarity arises because connections foster loyalty of junior officials to senior ones, thereby allowing incumbent top politicians to select competent provincial leaders without risking being ousted. Auxiliary evidence suggests that the documented promotion pattern does not distort the allocation of talent. Our findings shed some light on why a political system known for patronage can still select competent leaders.

Keywords: Political turnover; Economic performance; Personnel control; Social networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 H70 J63 P30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2014-02-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-hme, nep-pol and nep-tra
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Journal Article: POLITICAL SELECTION IN CHINA: THE COMPLEMENTARY ROLES OF CONNECTIONS AND PERFORMANCE (2015) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1003

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