Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-57lbh Total loading time: 0.307 Render date: 2022-12-08T08:37:20.315Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The Logic of Authoritarian Political Selection: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2018

Abstract

Political selection is important to authoritarian regime survival. Although selection outcomes are often observed, it is difficult to decipher elites’ logic of decision-making due to their multidimensional preference and the opaque process. Employing a conjoint experiment conducted among over 300 government officials in China, this paper unpacks multidimensional elite preference in entry-level political selection. It finds that while elites comply with institutional norms by selecting candidates based on competence and loyalty, they also take into account personal preference by favoring those with political connections. Kinship ties to government increase a candidate’s chance by over 20 percentage points, even though the candidate is not deemed more competent or loyal. These findings demonstrate that authoritarian elites do not always follow the logic of regime survival; there exists an agency problem in political selection that could undermine the effectiveness of the ruling class over time.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Hanzhang Liu is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027 (hanzhang.liu@columbia.edu). Earlier versions of the article were presented at MPSA Annual Conference 2016, Fudan-UC Young Scholars Conference 2016, and APSA Annual Meeting 2016. The research was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Columbia University under protocol IRB-AAAP6302. The author thanks Andrew Nathan, Michael Ting, Timothy Frye, Kimuli Kasara, John Marshall, Yiqing Xu, Victor Shih, Pierre Landry, and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2018.24

References

REFERENCES

Ang, Yuen Yuen, and Jia, Nan. 2014. ‘Perverse Complementarity: Political Connections and the Use of Courts among Private Firms in China’. The Journal of Politics 76(2):318332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bian, Yanjie. 1997. ‘Bringing Strong Ties Back In: Indirect Ties, Network Bridges, and Job Searches in China’. American Sociological Review 62(3):366385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bian, Yanjie. 2002. ‘Chinese Social Stratification and Social Mobility’. Annual Review of Sociology 28:91116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boix, Carles, and Svolik, Milan. 2013. ‘The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions, Commitment, and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships’. The Journal of Politics 75(2):300316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burns, John. 1989. The Chinese Communist Party’s Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984. Armonk, NY: M.E.Sharpe.Google Scholar
Burns, John. 1994. ‘Strengthening CCP Control of Leadership Selection: The 1990 Nomenclatura’. China Quarterly 138:458491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, Jidong, Pan, Jennifer, and Xu, Yiqing. 2016. ‘Sources of Authoritarian Responsiveness: A Field Experiment in China’. American Journal of Political Science 60(2):383400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dal Bó, Ernesto, Dal Bó, Pedro, and Snyder, Jason. 2009. ‘Political Dynasties’. The Review of Economic Studies 76(1):115142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeMaio, Theresa J. 1984. ‘Social Desirability and Survey Measurement: A Review’. In Charles Turner and Elizabeth Martin (eds), Surveying Subjective Phenomenon, vol. 2, 257–282. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Egorov, Georgy, and Sonin, Konstantin. 2011. ‘Dictators and Their Viziers: Endogenizing the Loyalty-Competence Trade-Off’. Journal of European Economic Association 9(5):903930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, Peter, and Rauch, James E. 1999. ‘Bureaucracy and Growth: A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of “Weberian” State Structures on Economic Growth’. American Sociological Review 64(5):748765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feinstein, Brian. 2010. ‘The Dynasty Advantage: Family Ties in Congressional Elections’. Legislative Studies Quarterly 35(4):571598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haber, Stephen. 2006. ‘Authoritarian Government’. In Barry Weingast and Donald Wittman (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy, 693–707. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hainmueller, Jens, Hopkins, Daniel, and Yamamoto, Teppei. 2014. ‘Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis: Understanding Multidimensional Choices via Stated Preference Experiments’. Political Analysis 22(1):130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, Ping-ti. 1962. The Ladder of Success in Imperial China. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, Haifeng, Boranbay-Akan, Serra, and Huang, Ling. Forthcoming. ‘Media, Protest Diffusion, and Authoritarian Resilience’. Political Science Research and Methods. Available at http://doi:10.1017/psrm.2016.25M.Google Scholar
Key, Valdimer Orlando. 1956. American State Politics: An Introduction. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
Laband, David, and Lentz, Bernard. 1985. ‘Favorite Sons: Intergenerational Wealth Transfers Among Politicians’. Economic Inquiry 23(3):395414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landry, Pierre. 2008. Decentralized Authoritarianism in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landry, Pierre, , Xiaobo, and Duan, Haiyan. 2015. ‘Does Performance Matter? Evaluating Political Selection along the Chinese Administrative Ladder’. Unpublished Manuscript.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, Hongbin, and Zhou, Li-An. 2005. ‘Political Turnover and Economic Performance: The Incentive Role of Personal Control in China’. Journal of Public Economics 89:17431762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lorentzen, Peter. 2014. ‘China’s Strategic Censorship’. American Journal of Political Science 58(2):402414.Google Scholar
Manion, Melanie. 1985. ‘The Cadre Management System, Post-Mao: The Appointment, Promotion, Transfer, and Removal of Party and State Leaders’. The China Quarterly 102:203233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manion, Melanie. 1993. Retirement of Revolutionaries in China: Public Policies, Social Norms, Private Interests. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michels, Robert. 1911. Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Miyazaki, Ichisada. 1981. China’s Examination Hell: The Civil Service Examinations of Imperial China. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Nadeau, Richard, and Niemi, Richard. 1995. ‘Educated Guesses: The Process of Answering Factual Knowledge Questions in Surveys’. Public Opinion Quarterly 59(3):323346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rauch, James E., and Evans, Peter B.. 2000. ‘Bureaucratic Structure and Bureaucratic Performance in Less Developed Countries’. Journal of Public Economics 75:4971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shih, Victor, Adolph, Christopher, and Liu, Mingxing. 2012. ‘Getting Ahead in the Communist Party: Explaining the Advancement of Central Committee Members in China’. American Political Science Review 106(1):166187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Svolik, Milan W. 2012. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tourangeau, Roger, and Yan, Ting. 2007. ‘Sensitive Questions in Surveys’. Psychological Bulletin 133(5):859883.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tsai, Lily. 2007. ‘Solidary Groups, Informal Accountability, and Local Public Goods Provision in Rural China’. American Political Science Review 101(2):355372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tsai, Lily, and Xu, Yiqing. Forthcoming. ‘Outspoken Insiders: Political Connections and Citizen Participation in Authoritarian China’. Political Behavior. Available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-017-9416-6.Google Scholar
Walder, Andrew. 1995. ‘Career Mobility and the Communist Political Order’. American Sociological Review 60(3):309328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walder, Andrew, Li, Bobai, and Treiman, Donald. 2000. ‘Politics and Life Chances in a State Socialist Regime: Dual Career Paths into the Urban Chinese Elite, 1949 to 1996’. American Sociological Review 65(2):191209.Google Scholar
Whiting, Susan. 2004. ‘The Cadre Evaluation System at the Grassroots: The Paradox of Party Rule’. In Naughton, Barry and Dali, Yang (eds), Holding China Together: Diversity and National Integration in the Post-Deng Era, 101–119. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Xu, Yiqing, and Yao, Yang. 2015. ‘Informal Institutions, Collective Action, and Public Investment in Rural China’. American Political Science Review 109(2):371391.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Liu supplementary material

Appendix

Download Liu supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 622 KB
Link
7
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Logic of Authoritarian Political Selection: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in China
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Logic of Authoritarian Political Selection: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in China
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Logic of Authoritarian Political Selection: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in China
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *