Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance in Political Selection in China

47 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2013

See all articles by Ruixue Jia

Ruixue Jia

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Masayuki Kudamatsu

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

David Seim

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

Date Written: June 2013

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 chance of being promoted depends on performance - measured by provincial economic growth - and connections with top politicians - measured by past joint work in the same branch of government. A simple theoretical framework suggests that performance and connections may interact, an aspect ignored in the previous literature. Over the period 1993-2009, we find a positive correlation between promotion and growth that is robustly stronger for connected provincial leaders than for unconnected ones. This evidence indicates that performance and connections are complements in the Chinese political selection process. Auxiliary evidence suggests that the documented promotion pattern does not distort the allocation of talent.

Keywords: Chinese provincial leaders, political selection in autocracy, promotion, social networks

JEL Classification: O53, P26

Suggested Citation

Jia, Ruixue and Kudamatsu, Masayuki and Seim, David, Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance in Political Selection in China (June 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9523. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284613

Ruixue Jia (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Masayuki Kudamatsu

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

David Seim

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, 106-91
Sweden

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