Do Land Revenue Windfalls Reduce the Career Incentives of County Leaders? Evidence from China
59 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2013 Last revised: 8 Aug 2013
Date Written: July 29, 2013
We analyze a dataset constructed on the political turnovers of 3,623 county leaders in China during 1999-2008, and find that their career incentives — the institutional foundations of China’s three decades of sustained economic growth — remain powerful. This is in spite of a policy shock that assigns to them the residual claiming rights over land revenues and their having substantially more discretionary revenue to spend as a result. Specifically, the county leaders spend significantly more to signal their achievements (for promotion), and on a variety of activities that benefit mostly the government bureaucracy, than on projects that enhance social welfare.
Keywords: Career Incentives, Land Revenue, Local Leaders, Signaling, China
JEL Classification: H11, H70, J63, P26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation