A Decentralized Iron Cage: Do Chinese Local Officials Comply with the Central Government?

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Date

2016

Authors

Ge, Haosen

Advisors

Malesky, Edmund J

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature in nancial aid and authoritarian institutions.

For a long time, scholars are debating whether nancial aid is able to facilitate

development and governance. Though abundant evidence is provided, the answer is

still inconclusive. On the other hand, scholars investigating China argue that the

leadership uses various institutions to ensure local ocials' compliance. In this paper,

we nd that the nancial aid does not bring a positive impact and the central

government in China does not have enough monitoring capacity to force local o-

cials to comply. We study a redevelopment program established by Chinese central

government after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. By adopting a geographic regression

discontinuity combining with a dierence-in-dierences design, we show that

the redevelopment program does not signicantly develop the disaster area. On the

contrary, the evidence implies that the economy in the disaster area is worse after

receiving the aid. The results imply that local ocials do not follow the central government's

regulations and misuse the aid money for other purposes. In the future, we

expect to further investigate through which mechanism do local ocials undermine

the existing institutions.

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Citation

Ge, Haosen (2016). A Decentralized Iron Cage: Do Chinese Local Officials Comply with the Central Government?. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12330.

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