Personal Ties, Meritocracy, and China's Anti-Corruption Campaign
62 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2016 Last revised: 26 Jul 2021
Date Written: November 21, 2018
We investigate the initial phase of China’s anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping, finding that arrests are associated with departures from standard promotion practices that rewarded officials for GDP growth performance and elite career paths. Almost no individuals connected to the General Secretary or the Premier were arrested, but connections to the broader Politburo Standing Committee were not protective. Using new data on elite connections revealed by corruption investigations, we confirm the importance of workplace and hometown ties in Chinese politics, and find additional evidence contradicting a narrow power-consolidation view of the crackdown.
Keywords: corruption, meritocracy, personal ties, economic growth
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