Political Reform in China: Elections, Public Goods and Income Distribution

61 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014

See all articles by Monica Martinez-Bravo

Monica Martinez-Bravo

Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI)

Gerard Padró i Miquel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Yang Yao

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research (CCER)

Date Written: July 14, 2014

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of introducing elections on public good expenditures, income distribution and land use in rural China. We collect a large and unique survey to document the history of political reforms and economic policies and exploit the staggered timing of the introduction of elections for causal identification. We find that elections significantly increase public goods expenditure funded by villagers, reduce the income of the richest households in each village and reduce the amount of village land that is leased away from household farming.

Keywords: Institutions, Local Governance, Elections, Democracy

JEL Classification: H4, H7, O1, P16

Suggested Citation

Martinez-Bravo, Monica and Padro i Miquel, Gerard and Qian, Nancy and Yao, Yang, Political Reform in China: Elections, Public Goods and Income Distribution (July 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2356343

Monica Martinez-Bravo

Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI) ( email )

Casado del Alisal 5
28014 Madrid
Spain

Gerard Padro i Miquel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nancy Qian (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yang Yao

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research (CCER) ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

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