nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2006‒05‒20
three papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Fudan University

  1. Ideological Reform and Political Legitimacy in China: Challenges in the Post-Jiang Era By Heike Holbig
  2. Economic Returns to Communist Party Membership: Evidence from Urban Chinese Twins By Hongbin Li; Pak Wai Liu; Junsen Zhang; Ning Ma
  3. Technical Change and Total Factor Productivity Growth for Chinese Provinces: A Panel Data Analysis By Shiu, Alice; Heshmati, Almas

  1. By: Heike Holbig (GIGA Institute of Asian Studies)
    Abstract: As a Socialist country undergoing rapid social and economic transition, China presents a revealing case study on the role of ideology in the process of institutional change. Based on Douglass North’s theory of institutional change and on David Beetham’s theory of political legitimation, this paper argues that recent ideological reforms have been a crucial factor in sustaining the legitimacy of Communist party rule. Ideological change is conceived as a path-dependent process which helps to stabilize the social perception of transition and to frame the party’s modernization achievements. At the same time, the dominant role of ideology makes the Chinese party-state, despite its economic success, more vulnerable to legitimacy crises compared to other authoritarian regimes.
    Keywords: Institutional change, political legitimacy, ideology, Socialism, Communism, China
    Date: 2006–03
  2. By: Hongbin Li (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Pak Wai Liu (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Junsen Zhang (Chinese University of Hong Kong and IZA Bonn); Ning Ma (Johns Hopkins University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the returns to membership of the Chinese Communist Party using unique twins data we collected from China. Our OLS estimate shows that being a Party member increases earnings by 10%, but the within-twin-pair estimate becomes zero. One interpretation of these results is that the OLS Party premium is due to omitted ability and family background. This interpretation would suggest that Party members fare well not because of their special political status per se, but because of the superior ability that made them Party members. The estimates are also consistent with an alternative interpretation that Party membership not only has its own effect but also has an external effect on the sibling.
    Keywords: twins, communist party membership, China
    JEL: J31 O15 P26
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Shiu, Alice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University); Heshmati, Almas (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: We present in this paper the panel econometrics estimation approach of measuring the technical change and total factor productivity (TFP) growth of 30 Chinese provinces during the period of 1993 to 2003. The random effects model with heteroscedastic variances has been used for the estimation of the translog production functions. Two alternative formulations of technical change measured by the single time trend and the general index approach are used. Based on the measures of technical change, estimates of TFP growth could be obtained and its determinants were examined using regression analysis. The parametric TFP growth measure is compared with the non-parametric Solow residual. TFP has recorded positive growth for all provinces during the sample period. Regional breakdown shows that the eastern and central regions have higher average TFP growth when compared with the western region. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and information and communication technology (ICT) investment are found to be significant factors contributing to the TFP difference. While these two factors are found to have significant influence on TFP, their influence on production is relatively small compared to traditional inputs of production.
    Keywords: technical change; TFP growth; provinces; China; ICT; FDI; infrastructure
    JEL: C23 D24 E22 O18 O47
    Date: 2006–05–12

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