Did the Policies in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Lead to Higher Development and Social Compliance? A Synthetic Control Analysis
40 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 21, 2020
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has recently experienced a series of policies sought to bring economic development, as well as intensive methods of social compliance. A unique leader, Chen Quanguo, brought these changes in the XUAR in 2016. This paper seeks to examine the effects of Chen’s regime. Figuring out if the policies brought forth by Chen actually had any significant change in development and social compliance is complicated, mainly due to the fact it is impossible to examine the XUAR with and without the regime of Chen. Using the synthetic control method, however, is one way of addressing if Chen had any meaningful effect on the region by constructing a counterfactual that seeks to mimic what would have happened to XUAR had Chen not been put in power. We specifically examine three outcomes: GDP per capita, arrest rates, and spending on public security. Our findings suggest that Chen had no significant effect on the development, but his policies led to much higher rates of arrest and larger spending on public security.
Keywords: Xinjiang, regional development, China, Synthetic Control Method, religious persecution
JEL Classification: K38, K42, P37, R11
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