Social ties and the selection of China's political elite
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Citation (published version)Raymond Fisman, Jing Shi, Yongxiang Wang, Weixing Wu. 2020. "Social Ties and the Selection of China's Political Elite." The American Economic Review, Volume 110, Issue 6, pp. 1752 - 1781. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20180841
We study how sharing a hometown or college connection with an incumbent member of China's Politburo affects a candidate's likelihood of selection as a new member. In specifications that include fixed effects to absorb quality differences across cities and colleges, we find that hometown and college connections are each associated with 5–9 percentage point reductions in selection probability. This "connections penalty" is equally strong for retiring Politburo members, arguing against quota-based explanations, and it is much stronger for junior Politburo members, consistent with a role for intra-factional competition. Our findings differ from earlier work because of our emphasis on within-group variation, and our focus on shared hometown and college, rather than shared workplace, connections.
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