China's Rule of Law in New Era: The Rise of Regulation and Formalism
Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Forthcoming
11 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 30, 2019
China’s financial development and economic growth is achieved under weak legal institutions. The literature attributes this counterexample of law–finance–growth nexus to (a) alternative mechanisms in China such as incentives, reputation and relationships and (b) a well-functioning xinfang system with common law features. In recent years, China has made increasing efforts to strengthen its rule of law. The Communist Party of China (CPC) has taken the lead by launching a far-reaching campaign against corruption, establishing a system of inspection tours, and promulgating a large number of regulations. We argue that using regulations to complement laws is effective: CPC has enough bureaucratic prowess to crack down on corruption whereas the courts are subject to subversion by powerful interests. We also discuss the drawbacks of this approach: regulations aiming at ex ante control of corruption substantially increase procedural formalism and limit the discretion of local governments and state-owned enterprises.
Keywords: Anti-Corruption Campaign, China, Procedural Formalism, Regulation
JEL Classification: G38; K20
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