Strategic Choices of Local Politicians in China: The Interplay of Economic, Political Activities, and Promotion Prospects

38 Pages Posted: 4 May 2023 Last revised: 24 May 2023

See all articles by Hong Ru

Hong Ru

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University

Meng Miao

Renmin University of China-School of Finance

Shang Zeng

Renmin University of China - School of Finance

Date Written: April 24, 2023

Abstract

Through a unique database on daily activities of municipal party secretaries, we find that they spend a significant part of their work time on political and propaganda activities, including organizing various meetings to promote the central government's spirit ideology. We find that officials engage in these behaviors more often before a government reshuffle, plausibly tend to leave a loyal and obedient impression on the superior government and increase their promotion probability. This is on contrary to economic behaviors, which are more common in the early stages of officials' terms, possibly because investment projects require time. This is more evident among younger, well-educated politicians due to age-based promotion restrictions. Our study may shed light on how the Communist Party of China balancing economic development and political loyalty when selecting officials.

Keywords: Local Politician, Promotion, Political Activities, China

JEL Classification: D73, G30, L33

Suggested Citation

Ru, Hong and Miao, Meng and Zeng, Shang, Strategic Choices of Local Politicians in China: The Interplay of Economic, Political Activities, and Promotion Prospects (April 24, 2023). Nanyang Business School Research Paper No. 23-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4426852 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4426852

Hong Ru (Contact Author)

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore
(+65) 67904661 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://hongru.mit.edu/

Meng Miao

Renmin University of China-School of Finance ( email )

59 Zhongguancun Street
Beijing, 100872
China

Shang Zeng

Renmin University of China - School of Finance ( email )

Ming De Main Building
Renmin University of China
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

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