Institutions and Inequality in Single-Party Regimes: A Comparative Analysis of Vietnam and China

Comparative Politics, Forthcoming

46 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2010

See all articles by Edmund J. Malesky

Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science

Regina M. Abrami

Harvard Business School

Yu Zheng

Fudan University

Date Written: February 2010

Abstract

Despite the fact that China and Vietnam have been the world’s two fastest growing economies over the past two decades, their income inequality patterns are very different. In this paper, we take a deep look at political institutions in the two countries, demonstrating that profound differences between these polities influence distributional choices. In particular, we find that elite institutions in Vietnam encourage the construction of broader policy-making coalitions, have more competitive selection processes, and place more constraints on executive decision-making than exists by way of elite institutions in China. As a result, there are stronger political motivations for Vietnamese leaders to provide equalizing transfers that limit inequality growth among provinces.

Keywords: Vietnam, China, Institutions, Inequality, Single-Party Regimes

Suggested Citation

Malesky, Edmund J. and Abrami, Regina M. and Zheng, Yu, Institutions and Inequality in Single-Party Regimes: A Comparative Analysis of Vietnam and China (February 2010). Comparative Politics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1669708

Edmund J. Malesky (Contact Author)

Duke University, Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Regina M. Abrami

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Yu Zheng

Fudan University ( email )

220 Handan Road
Shanghai, 200433
China

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