Corruption, Anti-Corruption, and Inter-County Income Disparity in China
Social Science Journal, Volume 48, Issue 3, September 2011
Posted: 2 Feb 2014
Date Written: September 10, 2011
The rapid economic growth in China has been connected with a large income gap across regions. While most existing research has focused on economic factors to explain the problem, we argue that local government's anti-corruption endeavors also play a very significant role in influencing local income levels. Recent research shows that corruption undermines economic growth and generates poverty, we therefore hypothesize that government anti-corruption measures should increase local income levels. Using county-level data and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) estimates, we find counties with higher degree of anti-corruption tend to have higher income measured by county-level per capita GDP. We also employ a recently developed Shapley value decomposition technique to quantify the contributions of each variable. We find that anti-corruption plays a large role in explaining inter-county income disparity in China.
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