Policy Experimentation and Information Crawling: A Case Study in China’s Hukou System Reforms

26 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2012 Last revised: 25 May 2012

See all articles by Shing Yip Wong

Shing Yip Wong

University of Bristol - School for Policy Studies; The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Date Written: April 1, 2011

Abstract

The notion of policy experimentation was proposed to explain China’s adaptability in policy-making process. Heilmann (2008a) proposed ‘decentralised experimentation with ad hoc interference’ as the central feature of policy experimentation. Through installing ‘experimental points’ at local levels, this encourages the locals to explore innovative policies and draw experience from indigenous practices. This study follows the aforementioned logic and argues that the devolution of policy-making process to lower levels is not the solely important factor. I propose that information crawling at all levels, both central and locals, is crucial to the success of policy experimentation. The central level’s effort is particularly important as this enables the refinement of national policy goals, innovative policies at locals can also be selectively endorsed and spread to other non-reforming jurisdictions. This study uses the hukou system reforms as a case study, since the reforms are highly diversified and thus provides us a window to investigate the dynamics of the policy-making process.

Keywords: China, policy experimentation, policy-making, hukou system reforms

JEL Classification: D73, D78, D80, J18, J61, J68, O15, O18, O53, P21, P26, P36, P30, R23, R50

Suggested Citation

Wong, Shing Yip, Policy Experimentation and Information Crawling: A Case Study in China’s Hukou System Reforms (April 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2035106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2035106

Shing Yip Wong (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - School for Policy Studies ( email )

8 Priory Road
Clifton
Bristol BS8 ITZ, BS8 1TZ
United Kingdom

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

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