Does Performance Matter? Evaluating Political Selection along the Chinese Administrative Ladder

Forthcoming at Comparative Political Studies

72 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014 Last revised: 7 Jul 2017

See all articles by Pierre F. Landry

Pierre F. Landry

University of Pittsburgh

Xiaobo Lü

University of Texas at Austin

Haiyan Duan

East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL)

Date Written: June 25, 2017

Abstract

Political selection is central to the survival of all regimes. This paper evaluates the relative importance of performance and political connection for the advancement of local politicians under authoritarianism. We hypothesize that in a large-scale multi-level polity, economic performance plays a greater role in promotion at lower administrative levels of government than at higher ones, even after controlling for political connections. This dualist strategy allows the ruling elites to achieve economic performance while minimizing the advancement of potentially disloyal challengers. Thus, balancing between loyalty and competence among subordinates enhances regime survival. Our empirical evidence draws on a comprehensive panel dataset of provincial, prefectural, and county-level Communist party secretaries and government executives appointed between 1999 and 2007. We find consistent evidence for our argument under various model specifications. We also explore the heterogeneous effects of performance on promotion given the CCP’s age ineligibility rule for cadre promotion and jurisdiction characteristics.

Suggested Citation

Landry, Pierre F. and Lü, Xiaobo and Duan, Haiyan, Does Performance Matter? Evaluating Political Selection along the Chinese Administrative Ladder (June 25, 2017). Forthcoming at Comparative Political Studies. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2452482 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2452482

Pierre F. Landry

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

4L01 Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7250 (Phone)
412-648-7277 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pitt.edu/~politics/faculty.html

Xiaobo Lü (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

Department of Government
Mail Stop: A1800
Austin, TX 78712
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.xiaobolu.com

Haiyan Duan

East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) ( email )

1575 Wanhangdu Rd.
Changning, Shanghai 200042
China

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