Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/95631
Authors: 
Jia, Ruixue
Kudamatsu, Masayuki
Seim, David
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
IFN Working Paper 1003
Abstract: 
Who becomes a top politician in China? We focus on provincial leaders - a pool of candidates for top political office - and examine how their chances of promotion depend on their performance in office and connections with top politicians. Our empirical analysis, based on the curriculum vitae of Chinese politicians, shows that connections and performance are complements in the Chinese political selection process. This complementarity is stronger the younger provincial leaders are relative to their connected top leaders. To provide one plausible interpretation of these empirical findings, we propose a simple theory in which the complementarity arises because connections foster loyalty of junior officials to senior ones, thereby allowing incumbent top politicians to select competent provincial leaders without risking being ousted. Auxiliary evidence suggests that the documented promotion pattern does not distort the allocation of talent. Our findings shed some light on why a political system known for patronage can still select competent leaders.
Subjects: 
Political turnover
Economic performance
Personnel control
Social networks
JEL: 
H11
H70
J63
P30
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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