Political Selection in China: The Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance

Reprint No. 2015:64

Author(s): Ruixue Jia, Masayuki Kudamatsu and David SeimYear: 2015 Title: Journal of the European Economic Association Volume (No.): 13 (4) Pages: 631–668
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

Who becomes a top politician in China? We focus on provincial leaders—a pool of candidates for top political office—and examine how their chances of promotion depend on their performance in office and connections with top politicians. Our empirical analysis, based on the curriculum vitae of Chinese politicians, shows that connections and performance are complements in the Chinese political selection process. This complementarity is stronger the younger provincial leaders are relative to their connected top leaders. To provide one plausible interpretation of these empirical findings, we propose a simple theory in which the complementarity arises because connections foster loyalty of junior officials to senior ones, thereby allowing incumbent top politicians to select competent provincial leaders without risking being ousted. Our findings shed some light on why a political system known for patronage can still select competent leaders.

Jia, Ruixue, Masayuki Kudamatsu and David Seim (2015), "Political Selection in China: The Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance". Journal of the European Economic Association 13(4), 631–668.

David Seim


Ph: 08 163539
Mob: 073 977 1123

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se