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  • Past Event.
Nov 4

Daniel Berkowitz, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

This event is part of the Economics Seminar Series series.

Delivery Method: In Person

Location:

Gerri C. LeBow Hall
208
3220 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Registration Option:

General

Registration for this event has passed.

“What Makes Local Governments in Autocracies Accountable?

Evidence from China“

https://www.lebow.drexel.edu/event/2022/11/04/daniel-berkowitz-phd-university-of-pittsburgh

Daniel Berkowitz, University of Pittsburgh

Yi Lu, Tsinghua University

Mingqin Wu, South China Normal University

Abstract Authoritarian governments currently use the internet and social media to monitor their lower-level government. Does “digital authoritarianism” make local governments more accountable to their constituents? Or does it breed rent seeking? Thus, we exploit a policy experiment where the Chinese central government required a subset of their county governments to improve the communication links and data on their public websites. Adjusting for non-random assignment of pilot counties, selection on county leaders and a concurrent reform, we find that corruption fell and service provision increased in treated versus control counties post-treatment. We argue that a plausible mechanism is the website reform strengthened the promotion incentives of the county government leaders (see Xiong, 2020, “the Mandarin Model of Growth”). Consistent with this view, in treated versus control counties, county leaders were promoted more rapidly and, county citizens were energized because they used social media platforms to search for information and post texts about the reform.

Speakers

Audience

Faculty
PhD

Disciplines

Economics
Have Questions?

Ohyun Kwon, PhD

(215) 571-4168

Gerri C. LeBow Hall 1025