Making Democracy Work: Culture, Social Capital and Elections in China

56 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2015

See all articles by Gerard Padró i Miquel

Gerard Padró i Miquel

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

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Yiqing Xu

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Yang Yao

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research (CCER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2015

Abstract

This paper aims to show that culture is an important determinant of the effectiveness of formal democratic institutions, such as elections. We collect new data to document the presence of voluntary and social organizations and the history of electoral reforms in Chinese villages. We use the presence of village temples to proxy for culture, or more specifically, for social (civic) capital and show that their presence greatly enhances the increase in public goods due to the introduction of elections. These results support the view that social capital complements democratic institutions such as elections.

Suggested Citation

Padro i Miquel, Gerard and Qian, Nancy and Xu, Yiqing and Yao, Yang, Making Democracy Work: Culture, Social Capital and Elections in China (April 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21058. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2590221

Gerard Padro i Miquel (Contact Author)

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

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

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

Yiqing Xu

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://yiqingxu.org

Yang Yao

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

Beijing, 100871
China

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
390
PlumX Metrics