Inter-region Economic Collaborations Through Leadership Visit Networks: A Nonparametric Matching Model
27 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 20, 2021
Public managers play critical roles in initiating and sustaining inter-region collaborations. Recently, some scholars began to recognize the importance of public managers in decisions on collaboration, exploring how public managers’ characteristics, collaborative leadership and personal as well as transfer networks affect the extent of collaboration. However, very few studies have investigated how the official interactions between public managers through leadership visits affect inter-region economic collaborations. To fill this lacuna, this paper tries to shed new light on the question: To what extent do the leadership visit networks channel inter-region economic collaborations? We argue that the network of leadership visit paths provides a direct channel for collaboration through information exchange and regional policy integration, but the effects vary in the different time periods and between heterogeneous jurisdictions. Based on the China Provincial Leadership Visit Database and the Inter-Provincial Trade Database, we adopt a new nonparametric matching method to estimate the marginal average treatment effects of provincial leadership visit networks on inter-provincial trade flows in China. These results demonstrate that leadership visit networks channel the collaborations of inter-provincial trade significantly, and the impacts of leadership visit networks decrease in the long term but still positive and significant. Also, leadership visits affect inter-provincial trade more significant when initiated by relatively less developed jurisdiction.
Keywords: Leadership visit network; Inter-region economic collaboration; Public manager; Inter-provincial trade
JEL Classification: O25
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