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Social Policy and Political Trust: Evidence from the New Rural Pension Scheme in China

  • Zhonglu Li (a1) and Xiaogang Wu (a2)
Abstract

This article analyses the data from the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) to investigate the effects of the New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) on people's political trust and policy expectations in China. Results from difference-in-differences (DID) analyses show that those in the NRPS pilot areas reported higher levels of trust in government at both central and local levels than their counterparts in non-NRPS areas, with the former gaining more support than the latter. Moreover, the potential NRPS beneficiaries show similarly higher levels of trust in both central and local governments than non-NRPS beneficiaries. However, the policy did not increase rural residents’ rights consciousness that the government should take the main responsibility for the provision of the old-age support. These findings suggest that citizens' political trust under an authoritarian regime is mainly determined by the material benefits they receive.

本文通过对 2010 年中国社会综合调查(CGSS2010)的数据分析,研究新型农村社会养老保险(新农保)政策的实施如何影响农村居民对中央和地方政府的信任。双差分模型分析结果表明,新型农村养老保险的实施同时提高了农民对中央政府和地方政府的政治信任,其中对中央政府的信任要高一点。相对与非政策受益者,那些潜在的政策受益者也表现出更高的政治信任,而且对中央政府和对地方政府没有差别。然而,新型农村社会养老保险政策的实施并没有提高农民关于政府应该负责养老的政策期待。这些发现揭示,在威权体制下,能否从政策中获益是影响政治信任的一个主要因素。

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Corresponding author
Email: sowu@ust.hk (corresponding author).
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