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Does ideology influence hiring in China? evidence from two randomized experiments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2022

Jennifer Pan
Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Tongtong Zhang*
Department of Political Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Corresponding author. Email:


China after Mao is typically characterized as a country where economic opportunities are based on merit instead of ideological conformity. However, the salience of ideology has grown under the rule of Xi Jinping. Using a large-scale resume audit experiment and a conjoint survey experiment of hiring managers in China, we find that firms in China do not reward job candidates for expressing conformity to the ideology of the regime, but job candidates who express support for Western democracy are less employable. Results suggest that firms in innovative industries designated as strategically important by the Chinese regime (e.g., artificial intelligence) penalize support for Western democracy by the largest magnitude while the remaining firms in innovative industries do not penalize political non-conformity.

Original Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Political Science Association

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