Political Reform in China: Elections, Public Goods and Income Distribution
61 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014
Date Written: July 14, 2014
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
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