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Public Goods and Regime Support in Urban China

  • Bruce J. Dickson (a1), Pierre F. Landry (a2), Mingming Shen (a3) and Jie Yan (a4)

Abstract

Why do authoritarian regimes try to improve the quality of their governance? In the absence of democratic institutions to monitor, reward and punish their performance, authoritarian politicians are normally expected to seek their self-interest through corruption and rewards to cronies, rather than providing for the public welfare. However, the Chinese state has actively promoted improved governance in recent years, with greater attention to quality of life issues to balance the primary focus on sustaining rapid economic growth. This paper analyses intra-national variation in the provision of public goods in urban China and the impact of public goods on regime support. Does better governance lead to higher levels of public support for the regime, even in the absence of democratic elections? Our evidence suggests that it does, with a greater impact for the local level than for the centre.

为什么威权政府要提高其治理水平? 由于缺乏民主的监督, 奖励和处罚机制, 威权政府往往倾向于通过腐败和奖励裙带的方式来获取自身利益, 而不是提高公共福利。然而, 近些年, 中国政府却积极地提升其政府治理水平, 中国政府将更多的注意力从关注经济持续快速增长转移到了民生问题。本文分析了中国城市公共产品供给在国内的变化情况及公共产品提供对制度支持的影响。即使在没有民主选举的情况下, 更好的政府治理能够带来对制度的更多支持吗? 我们的研究表明, 高的治理水平能带来对制度更高的支持水平。这种影响机制在对地方政府的支持方面的影响比对中央政府更大。

Copyright

Corresponding author

Email: bdickson@gwu.edu (corresponding author).

References

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Keywords

Public Goods and Regime Support in Urban China

  • Bruce J. Dickson (a1), Pierre F. Landry (a2), Mingming Shen (a3) and Jie Yan (a4)

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