Research Items (47)
- May 2019
Notwithstanding voluminous studies probing the relationship between publicness and performance, few of them examine the extent to which key organizational and managerial variables moderate publicness effects. This study conceptualizes the role of organizations’ administrative affiliation with different levels of government, which are sources of multiple, conflicting political controls, in moderating the effect of ownership on organizational performance. We examine how ownership and affiliation jointly influence regulated entities’ achievement of energy conservation targets assigned by China’s central government. The analysis of a combined dataset on quasi-public and private organizations shows that centrally affiliated organizations, which are more likely to receive unified policy demands, outperform local entities that are influenced by fragmented institutional controls. The performance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is contingent on their administrative affiliation. Specifically, central-SOE subsidiaries and central SOEs are leaders of policy goal accomplishment. Organizations with more rigorous targets achieve a higher level of policy goal.
- Mar 2019
It is well known that public agencies are nearly immortal, but what explains their termination? This article argues that apart from conventional antecedents, political salience defined by top leaders largely shapes government agencies' life cycle. In one of the first large‐N analyses of agency termination in a non‐Western authoritarian regime, we used longitudinal data for the central apparatus in China from 1949 to 1976 to test this hypothesis. We specifically used Chairman Mao's written directives to measure political salience and found that agencies that received more directives were less likely to be terminated. In contrast, agencies less attended to the boss were less likely to survive major restructurings. We also found that peripheral agencies (e.g., smaller, lower‐ranking agencies with noncore functions) benefited more from leaders' attention. We compare the results with the existing literature and suggest some theoretical and policy implications.
- Feb 2019
- Yuguo Liao
- Liang Ma
There has been a lingering debate on the relationship between public managers’ professional socialization and their acceptance of citizen participation. In this paper, it is empirically confirmed that association participation strengthens municipal managers’ predispositions toward engaging citizens. It is found that municipal managers that are active in generalist-oriented professional associations will be more likely to realize successful practices for citizen engagement in peer municipalities, which boosts their perceived sense of citizen contribution, and reduces their perceptions on the costliness of engaging citizens. These relationships are found to be mediated by municipal managers’ technocratic orientation and engagement self-efficacy.
- Jan 2019
- Universities as Agencies
Reputation management varies across contexts, and it is of theoretical importance to compare reputation symbols in different countries. In this chapter we examine reputation management profiles of universities in China, and compare their strategies with other countries. A content analysis of 146 universities reveals that performative and professional symbols are much more presented in official websites than moral ones, suggesting reputation profiles of Chinese universities is converging with global trends but also diverging with national characteristics. Universities in China are rather similar in reputation management, and larger, older, high-ranked, and general and engineering universities are generally more likely to use performative symbols than smaller, younger, low-ranked, and other specialized universities. Our findings generate helpful implications for future research avenues and policy suggestions.
When responding to crises, a joint approach is often used, which requires coordination among government agencies and other institutions. In this article we combine the vertical and horizontal dimensions to develop a theoretical framework to explain the patterns and performance of coordination. By drawing on structural-instrumental and institutional perspectives, we examine the coordination structures and mechanisms in China’s crisis management at the central and local levels. We outline the main structural characteristics of the Chinese system and the overall challenges it faces. We then discuss four crises that have happened in and around Beijing, using these to illustrate the crucial factors driving coordination successes and failures. Lastly, we discuss some comparative features and the theoretical and policy implications of our main results.
Citizens’ trust in government and other people is crucial to their perceptions of social risks. In this study, we examine the effects of institutional and social trust on citizens’ risk perceptions. Our analysis of a 2013 national survey conducted in 30 provincial capitals in China reveals that risk perceptions focus on two factors: public emergencies (e.g., traffic accidents) and public health threats (e.g., food safety). We found that only citizens’ trust in central government was significantly negatively correlated with perceived emergencies, while trust in local government was marginally positively correlated with perceived emergencies. Social trust was not correlated with perceived emergencies, and none of the three trust variables was significantly correlated with perceived health threats. Our results revealed that the demographic variables gender, age, education, media exposure, and religious belief are all relevant for citizens’ risk perceptions.
- Mar 2018
The reorganization of government agencies can be studied as a pre-reform process in terms of the structural changes made, or as a post-reform process in terms of the effects of the reorganization. In this study of two mergers of agencies in China’s central administration, we focus on structural features and the post-merger process, paying special attention to structural and cultural integration. Our qualitative analyses reveal that the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) is considered to have been more successful in merging agencies and integrating functions than the State Administration for Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT). We found that using physical arrangements and leadership features as explanatory variables generated helpful theoretical and policy implications for organizational architecture and public sector reforms.
Lots of government agencies have adopted social media to enhance transparency, improve services, and facilitate interaction, but the implementation and impacts after their adoptions are not well documented in the existing literature. In this chapter, we use the case of China to examine the post-adoption behaviors of government social media. We reveal that government microblog in Sina Weibo is largely inactive and lack of concrete influences, despite a handful of accounts perform overwhelmingly well. Microblog is primarily used for one-way propaganda instead of two-way interaction, which undermines its potential of coproduction and cocreation. While social media are adopted, either voluntarily or mandatorily, their sustainable operations and maintenances are still problematic. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of the results.
For many years, it was believed that higher-performing e-government features would boost citizen use of e-services. However, this straightforward proposition had never been tested. Using a survey of over 28,000 citizens across 32 European countries, we examined the effect of e-government performance on citizen use. Theoretically, a better-designed and maintained government website should be used more, but it was reject by multilevel model estimates. We found that performance was negatively related to citizen use of e-information and e-services, while e-participation use was insignificant. The implications of our findings on future efforts to increase the uptake of e-government are also discussed.
The structure of political and administrative institutions is important for achieving public goals. It is not fixed, however, but may change as a result of environmental and cultural processes or because of changes in leadership. Structural changes in the central government apparatus feature prominently in the recent strand of reform and change literature, but we know little about structural changes in contexts other than Western democracies. In this article, we analyze the main types of and possible reasons for structural changes in the central government apparatus in China over the past seventy years. We find interesting patterns of structural change in line with administrative developments. Using the multiple perspectives of organization theory, these can be primarily explained by political cycles or action taken by the central leadership, but they have also been influenced by cultural elements, economic growth, and societal transformation. Points for practitioners We document the key patterns of organizational restructuring in China's central government from 1949 to 2016. Political cycles and economic reform and development are found to be the key drivers of structural evolution. The results show that the political will of top leaders plays a crucial role in navigating structural reforms, yet institutional reforms are still largely confined to rhetoric and symbolism without substantively transforming the landscape of government architecture. Sustained structural reforms are difficult to achieve successfully, which suggests that alternative avenues may be required to streamline administrative processes and improve interagency coordination.
The city-state of Singapore is proactive in harnessing policy experimentation to incubate innovations, transfer knowledge and facilitate collaborations across different public sectors. Given the country’s strong knack for pragmatism, international practices and lessons are usually first tested and adapted in policy experiments before scaling up to nationwide policies. Singapore’s practice of policy experimentation, however, has also demonstrated evolution over time. This article reviews the evolving role of experimentation in Singapore’s policy decision-making and implementation, and analyses pilot programmes in public housing to elicit the key attributes and commonalities of its policy experiments. It finds that policy experiments have been increasingly used after the 2011 general election, which witnessed a radical political rebalancing in Singapore’s governance history. Pilot projects have thus transformed from a utilitarian to citizen-centric, design-thinking approach after 2011. Pilot programmes are used for multiple purposes in policy innovations, among which civil service mentoring, knowledge transfer and cross-boundary collaboration are the values primarily pursued. The article discusses the contributions of the findings to the literature and policy implications for practitioners.
Are citizens more satisfied with e-government ranked higher in league tables? In this article, we empirically examine the relationship between objective e-government performance on the supply side and the perceptions of citizens on the demand side. A multilevel analysis of over 28,000 respondents across 32 European countries reveals that highly ranked e-government is warmly welcomed by citizens, suggesting that the supply and demand sides of e-government are, in part, consistent. Specifically, the e-government performance–satisfaction correlations in e-service and e-participation are more prominent than that of e-information. The results also show that citizens’ perceived e-government benefits are mainly from using online services. While e-government rankings are reasonably predictive of citizen satisfaction, they should be referred to with caveats in e-government policies.
Do resources available to regulatory agencies matter for public perceptions of social risks? In this paper we use the case of food safety in China to empirically examine the relationship between regulatory resources and risk concerns. The multilevel model estimates suggest that neither regulatory revenue nor personnel is significantly related to public concerns over food safety. There is also no significant interaction effect between regulatory resources and food scandals. Despite the fact that sufficient fiscal revenue and manpower are the prerequisites of effective food safety regulation, they do not elicit more favorable public perceptions. These are the two missing links leading to the insignificant effect of regulatory resource inputs. First, ineffective distribution and deployment of resources and the lack of external participation retard the growth of regulatory capacity. Second, underinvestment in risk communication and the amplification effect of risks undermine regulatory legitimacy. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of the results, and conclude with research limitations and suggestions for future research.
Interjurisdictional learning is a key mechanism of policy mobility and diffusion, but the literature on this mechanism is scarce and its prominence is often underestimated. In this paper we use the case of public bicycle programs (PBPs) in China to examine the effect of intercity learning, specifically site visits, on policy diffusion. Hangzhou’s PBP is regarded as one of the most successful models and many city officials visit and learn from its best practices. We find that adjacent cities characterized by similar attributes are more inclined to learn from Hangzhou’ PBP, which facilitate these cities to adopt PBPs. More frequent site visits attended by more delegates and for more days are more likely to elicit policy adoption, while the leaders’ rank of delegations does not matter. Leadership turnover, prudent decision-making (e.g., incompatibility of PBP), and alternative solutions (e.g., metro) are found to be the missing links in transforming policy learning into policy adoption. We document the process of policy learning and diffusion, which deepens our understanding of the process of local government innovation in China. © 2017 Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies
- Apr 2017
Central government agencies play key roles in making and implementing public policies in China, but the empirical studies on these organisations are disproportionally scarce. Scholars in political science and public administration predominantly focus their researches on local governments at various levels, while paying little, if any, attention to the central counterparts. This article discusses the phenomenon of strong local but weak central government research pattern (the so called ‘central–local research divide’), and identifies the driving forces behind this research gap. It also introduces the lessons and implications from the US and European research projects for developing, replicating, and extending central agency databases. The research further elaborates the existing variables and data sources on central agencies and develops the China Central Agency Database (CCAD) to advance the quantitative research of central agencies in China. Finally, a conclusion is drawn with a research agenda to encourage researchers to coproduce the CCAD and embrace the study of central agencies.
Political scientists and economists argue that citizens decide to comply or not by weighting the benefits of compliance against possible costs from an instrumental perspective, while legal scholars focus on the procedures by which policy outcomes are generated from a procedural perspective, and sociologists emphasize people's motives to reciprocate with other community members from a collective perspective. However, we still don't know how these three perspectives can predict citizens’ noncompliance. Concentrating on the experience from mainland China, this work aims to develop a general noncompliance theory by integrating these approaches to explore why households are noncompliant with policies for resettlement compensation provided by local authorities in city regeneration projects. Based on a survey from a minority community in Xi'an and follow-up interviews, households with larger-sized houses, lower trust in local authority, and higher reliance on other community members are found to be more noncompliant with the compensation, which suggests these three perspectives work together to predict citizens’ noncompliance. Its implications for public accountability research in China are also discussed.
Transparency, trust, and equity are all considered critical components of good governance. However, few studies have looked into the possible impacts of transparency and trust on public perceptions of social equity. This study empirically examines the relationship between government transparency and perceived public service equity, and the moderating effect of citizen trust on that relationship. Using large sample citizen survey data from 36 major cities in China, we find that government transparency is positively related to perceived social equity. The results also reveal that citizen trust plays a moderating role in the relationship between transparency and perceived social equity.
In this chapter, the author aims to empirically examine the effect of social media use and e-government adoption on citizens' perceived corruption. It is hypothesized that the use of social media by citizens is positively related to their perceptions of corruption, while the use of government websites is negatively related to perceived corruption. The author draws on a recent national telephone survey of citizens in 36 major cities in China to empirically test the above hypotheses. The multilevel model estimates suggest that social media use is insignificantly related to corruption perceptions, but government website use is negatively associated with perceived corruptions. The findings of this study help understand the anti-corruption effects of social media and e-government, and also generate helpful implications for other countries and regions in utilizing digital applications for anti-corruption purposes.
Social media applications (SMAs) have been increasingly used by the public sector to interactively communicate with citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders, but we know little about what drives their adoption and usage. In this paper we hypothesize that SMA adoption is jointly shaped by top management characteristics, organizational attributes, and interorganizational and environmental factors. Drawing on a national survey of the U.S. local health departments (LHDs), our empirical findings suggest that the age and career background of top executives, organizational size, jurisdictional coverage, quality improvement initiatives, contracting-out experience, and emergency presence are key predictors of SMA adoption. We also find that the adoption and number of SMAs are affected by two different groups of antecedents. The results contribute to our understanding of SMA adoption and generate meaningful policy implications for LHDs and other public sectors.
It is both theoretically and socially imperative to understand what drives citizens’ concerns over food safety, as outbreaks of food related health hazards have become increasingly rampant in developing countries like China. In this paper we combine recent national survey data and media reports to quantitatively examine the effects of food scandals and media exposure on food safety risk. We find that media reported food scandals are not significantly related to public concern about food safety risk, suggesting that food risk perceptions may be nationwide rather than region specific. We also find out that more educated citizens with more media exposure are more concerned about food safety risk, and the amplification effect of food scandals is more prominent among residents with higher levels of education. In contrast to our expectation, family income is not significantly related to food safety concern. We also find that females, the elderly, and urban dwellers perceive higher levels of food risk than males, youngsters, and rural residents. The government should pay more attention to public perceptions of food safety, and strengthen its risk communication capacity to mitigate media amplification effects of food safety concern. The regulatory authorities can work with other entities (e.g., food industry and NGOs) to advance food safety education to equip the public with essential knowledge to mitigate the framing and spillover effects of food scandals and rumors.
Despite the fact that performance management has been ubiquitously adopted in the public sector across the world today, there is limited and inconclusive evidence that it improves citizen satisfaction with the government. In this paper, we use survey data and multilevel modeling to analyze the effects of multiple performance management components on citizens’ perceptions of government performance across 19 major cities in China. The results reveal that performance management does have a positive impact on citizen satisfaction. In addition citizen participation, performance feedback and accountability, and information openness are positively associated with citizen satisfaction along various performance dimensions in different magnitudes. While we should take account and mitigate its unintended consequences, our results suggest that it is still promising for public organizations to implement performance management.
Does national e-government performance boost e-service users? This straightforward correlation is usually taken for granted but has not yet been empirically tested. In this paper we examine the effect of national e-government performance on citizen use, using a sampling survey of about 28,000 citizens across 32 European countries. Theoretically better designed and maintained government websites should be used more by the citizens, however, the multilevel model estimate suggests that the supply-demand link is not well supported. We even find that the performance and citizen use of e-information and e-service are negatively correlated, while that of e-participation is insignificant. We discuss the implications of the findings and suggest policy recommendations for increasing the uptake of e-government.
This article examines the rise of the field of Public Administration (PA) in China from 1978 to 2006. It first identifies several major driving forces behind the creation of the field in the country’s reform context for a preliminary analysis; then examines some problems that have emerged from the quick expansion of the field, especially Master of Public Administration programs; finally offers suggestions for the field’s further development. This article contributes to the literature by dissecting the China case in developing PA in a reforming country.
We use the number of finalists and winners recognized by the Innovations in American Government Awards (IAGA) programme to measure state government innovativeness from 1986 to 2013. The measure is moderately related to two existing state policy innovativeness indexes. The fifty states vary remarkably and persistently in government innovativeness, which is more driven by internal antecedents than external ones. We find that between-state effects outperform within-state effects in explaining government innovativeness. We also reveal that government ideology, citizen ideology, and social capital are positively related to government innovativeness. The index developed in this study can be used in pertinent studies, and the findings contribute to the literature on public sector innovation.
- Jan 2016
- Social Media and Local Governments
Microblogging has been increasingly used in the public sector across the world, and it is pivotal to understand the drivers of their diffusion. This chapter adapts innovation adoption and diffusion theories and uses panel data of China’s 31 provinces (2010–2012) to empirically examine the diffusion of microblogging among government agencies and officials. The results suggest that the drivers of agency and individual microblogging are subtly distinct, implying their adoption may follow different routines. The findings also show that agencies and officials in jurisdictions with larger population, higher level of citizen demand, under advocating leadership, and bordering on pioneering peers are more likely to use microblogging.
Organizational goals shape performance feedback and have salient influences on strategic behaviours and outcomes. I develop a model of goal-setting by combining performance gap and bureaucratic control theories. I predict that governments set goal levels historically in line with their past goal levels and attainment discrepancies, horizontally targeting the comparable peers' goal levels and performance gaps, and vertically aligning with the upper-tier authorities' mandates. Using the data on annual economic growth of 31 Chinese provinces from 2000 to 2012, the within-between random-effects model substantially supports these hypotheses.
- Mar 2015
Do performance or personal ties (guanxi) matter more in the promotion of local public employees in China? In this paper, we examine public employees’ perceptions of the roles played by merit and guanxi in promotion. We adopt a configurational approach to classify public employees’ perceptions of the reasons for their promotion into four groups: merit-based, guanxi-orientated, ambidextrous (both), and fatalistic (neither). A recent survey of 886 public employees shows that around 40% see promotion as merit-based and 20% as guanxi-orientated, with 10% perceiving promotion to be ambidextrous and 30% fatalistic. Younger employees with higher rank are more likely to perceive promotion to be merit-based, whilst highly educated and highly ranked employees with strong public service motivation are more prone to see promotion as ambidextrous. Those who perceive promotion to be ambidextrous are more satisfied with promotion fairness, suggesting that a subtle balance needs to be maintained between merit-based and guanxi-orientated promotion channels, rather than rejection of any guanxi element.
Environmental Nonprofit Organizations (ENPOs) in China have been actively employing microblogging (e.g., Sina Weibo) and other social media. This chapter, with a case of Wuhan FON in a nationwide campaign of "I gauge air quality for my motherland," examines the key strategies and tactics Chinese ENPOs adopted in using social media to enhance their communicative functions and mobilizing capacities in the unique nonprofit environment of China. The case demonstrates that social media utilization can effectively help Chinese ENPOs in policy advocacy, especially through more efficient information dissemination. This chapter also identifies the major challenges faced by Chinese ENPOs in social media use and the corresponding solutions. It concludes with the discussions on the theoretical and practical implications of the case as well as several promising research avenues in this field.
Since 2000s, as an important venue to enhance external government accountability, external government performance evaluation (EGPE) activities have been burgeoning in China. However, few studies have been conducted on the important phenomenon. To bridge the gap, in this article we examine the emergence and development of EGPE in China and evaluate its performance. We found that although the quality of EGPEs is generally satisfactory, EGPEs in China have some serious problems. We argue that EGPE in China needs to further improve its independence, validity and reliability. By releasing its raw data to the public for verification and duplication, EGPE will further improve its quality, credibility and functionality. Although EGPE in China as a tool to promote external government accountability is necessary and promising in the current context, effective performance management system that does not only serve hierarchical control and internal accountability but also external and democratic accountability requires systematic political and administrative reforms.
Understanding the logic of fiscal decentralization is pivotal to the next steps of fiscal reform. The first step is a retrospection of the literature and evidence accumulated in the field. As a typical transition economy with rapid and extensive devolution reforms, China is the ideal context to examine the causes, processes, and effects of fiscal decentralization, which will attract numerous academic endeavors, both domestic and abroad. However, the literature has not been fully reviewed and the evidence on fiscal decentralization remains mixed and inconclusive. This paper is a comprehensive review of the latest advancements in the area of fiscal decentralization in China over the past decades. The processes, characteristics, and measurements of fiscal decentralization are firstly reviewed and the antecedents and consequences of fiscal decentralization are then synthesized. The knowledge gap and avenues for future research are finally discussed with the ultimate goal of making knowledge about fiscal decentralization in China contributive, accumulative, and sustainable. © 2014 Central University of Finance and Economics. all rights reserved.
External government evaluation activities initiated and carried out by nongovernmental entities such as nonprofit organizations, mass media, think tanks, citizen groups and academic institutions have emerged in China since the late 1990s. Although advocates believe that these activities can help Chinese governing bodies tackle problems caused by the traditional internal top-down “Targets and Responsibilities” system, improve government management competency and achieve external accountability, to what extent current external government performance evaluation projects can meet these expectations needs to be examined. In this article, we develop an analytical framework to examine the development and performance of the Lien Service-Oriented Government Project, an annual project conducted since 2010 by Nanyang Technological University and Shanghai Jiaotong University on government performance in mainland China. Our case study on the Lien project reveals that although in the current political milieu, external government performance evaluation projects have great potential, these evaluation projects are facing serious challenges in independence, validity, reliability and functionality.
Echoing the global public management reform movement, China’s authorities advocated ‘super-department’ reform (SDR) to curb interdepartmental conflict and administrative inefficiency. However, the related performance consequences have not been empirically investigated. We test the reform’s effects on citizen satisfaction with public services through a natural experiment involving twenty-five counties in Guangdong province (2009-2012) and the difference-in-differences method. The results show that the reform has improved public service performance, but its effects are marginal and unsustainable. We discuss the theoretical contributions and policy implications of the findings and identify future research avenues.
- Jul 2013
Abstract Governments across many countries are adopting new social media (e.g. twitter), and police departments are engaging in the bandwagon too. We empirically examine the spread of police microblogging in Chinese municipal police departments from the perspective of organizational innovation diffusion. The results show that government size, internet penetration rate, regional diffusion effects and upper-tier pressure are positively and significantly associated with the adoption and earliness of police microblogging, whereas fiscal revenue, economic development and openness, E-government and public safety have no significant effects. We also find that police microblogging diffusion is contingent on different variables at different phases.
- Jun 2013
The article examines more than 80 winners and finalists in the Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance (IECLG) awards programme between 2001 and 2008. Our results show the main types of innovation in the Chinese public sector to be management, service and collaborative innovation, although instances of technological and governance innovation are emerging. State and party agencies at the city and county levels in eastern China appear to be more innovative than their counterparts at other levels in central and western China. We identify several factors that affect innovation in China, and find the country to have some distinct innovation characteristics relative to other countries. Our analysis contributes to an understanding of the state of the art in public sector innovation in China and suggests directions for further international comparative research.
- Aug 2012
Internationally, the public sector is adopting social media applications (e.g. Twitter and social networking services) to harness cutting-edge information technology developments, but we know little about what drives the diffusion of these applications. In this paper, I adapt the Berry-Berry policy and innovation diffusion model to explain the diffusion and assimilation of government microblogging, supplementing its four dimensions (learning, competition, upper-tier mandate and public pressure) with organizational resources and capacity. Data on 282 prefecture-level cities in China are employed to test several theoretical hypotheses empirically. Horizontal competition is found to be significantly and positively associated with the assimilation of government microblogging, although the other three dimensions are found not to be its key antecedents. Consistent with the study’s hypotheses, the results support the significantly positive effects of fiscal resources and IT capacity. Municipal wealth, size and administrative ranking are also positively and significantly correlated with the number of government microblogs.
Governments across many countries are adopting new social media (e.g. twitter), and police departments are engaging in the bandwagon too. We empirically examine the spread of police microblogging in Chinese municipal police departments from the perspective of organizational innovation diffusion. The results show that government size, internet penetration rate, regional diffusion effects and upper-tier pressure are positively and significantly associated with the adoption and earliness of police microblogging, whereas fiscal revenue, economic development and openness, E-government and public safety have no significant effects. We also find that police microblogging diffusion is contingent on different variables at different phases.
Understanding the logic of fiscal decentralization is pivotal for the next steps of fiscal reform, and retrospection of the literature and evidences accumulated in the field is the first step. As a typical transition economy with rapid and extensive devolution reforms, China is the ideal context to examine the causes, processes, and effects of fiscal decentralization, attracting numerous academic endeavors both domestic and abroad. However, the literature has not been fully reviewed and the evidences on fiscal decentralization are still mixed and inconclusive. This paper aims to comprehensively review the latest advancement in the area of fiscal decentralization in China over the past decades. The processes, characteristics, and measurements of fiscal decentralization are firstly reviewed, and the antecedents and consequences of fiscal decentralization are then synthesized. The knowledge gap and avenues for future research are finally discussed, aiming to make the China fiscal decentralization knowledge contributive, accumulative, and sustainable.
What drives fiscal transparency? Using a unique dataset we empirically examine the determinants of fiscal transparency of provincial governments in China. We propose an integrated framework to explain the variation in fiscal transparency, in which external demand and pressure, fiscal performance, government resources and capacity, as well as top leaders’ attributes are argued to play important roles. Fiscal transparency is measured by governments’ responses to open fiscal information requests of citizens and their information availability and completeness. Our findings show that economic openness, marketization, institutional capacity, and attributes of local leaders (e.g., tenure) are key drivers of fiscal transparency, and their effects on responsiveness and information completeness are slightly different. We compare our findings with research results on other countries, and theoretical and policy implications are also discussed.
- Jan 2011
This chapter looks into China's experiences with embracing new steering instruments to promote social stability, with particular reference to the protection of households involved in city regeneration projects. During the closing years of the twentieth century, China experienced a fundamental transition, from a planned mode of urban regeneration to a new pattern that emphasised the involvement of the market. Under the planned regime, households affected by regeneration projects were provided with new apartments and temporary housing, all financed by the local government. Economic incentives were rarely employed to encourage households to resettle, as resettlement was seen as a civil obligation. The new approach, featuring marketisation, however, requires the affected households to pay for their new houses using monetary compensation and subsidies from the local governments. The local governments are strongly motivated to save such costs and thus provide limited compensation, and consequently complaints from the affected households have continued to grow (Peerenboom & He, 2009).
What determine Chinese party and state cadres’ promotion? Does government performance matter? Using a unique data-set on the promotion and performance of provincial party secretaries and governors (N=303) in China (2000-2004), we apply event history analysis (EHA) methods to empirically analyze the relationships between distinctive dimensions of government performance and political promotions of local cadres. Contrary to previous studies, it’s found that the whole government performance has weak effects on promotion of provincial cadres. Though the effects of economic performance are not significant, public service effectiveness impacts political promotion positively and significantly. The results imply that the criteria of government performance evaluation are dynamic and undertaken restructuring, and the era of post-GDP government performance evaluation may have been coming. The position, tenure and guanxi (social capital) of provincial cadres and their jurisdictional attributes have significantly effects on political promotion, similar to former research. Comparative analysis among different positions and areas are also conducted and discussed, and research and practical implications are concluded.