Local governance and the quality of local infrastructure : evidence from village road projects in rural China

Ho Lun, Alex WONG, Yu WANG, Renfu LUO*, Linxiu ZHANG, Scott ROZELLE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Research has shown that allowing local communities to elect their own leaders increases local infrastructure investment. However, much less is known about the effects of local governance reform on the quality of local infrastructure. This paper examines the effects of governance reform implemented in rural Chinese villages on the quality of village road projects. We conduct surveys in 101 rural villages and collect data related to the implementation of the reform over the last two decades. We also measure the quality of over 550 village road projects completed in these villages. Using fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation methods, we find that the implementation of village governance reform increases the quality of village road projects. We also find evidence supporting the following effect mechanisms: (1) village leaders become younger and more educated, (2) high quality road projects increase incumbent leaders' re-election chances, and (3) village residents participate more actively in the management and monitoring of village road projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume152
Early online date27 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Fingerprint

Local governance
Roads
Rural China
Governance
Residents
Instrumental variable estimation
Elections
Monitoring
Fixed effects
Infrastructure investment
Incumbents
Local communities

Bibliographical note

Authors acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71473239, 71033003, and 71333012).

Keywords

  • Infrastructure quality
  • Local governance
  • Rural China
  • Village participation
  • Village roads

Cite this

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title = "Local governance and the quality of local infrastructure : evidence from village road projects in rural China",
abstract = "Research has shown that allowing local communities to elect their own leaders increases local infrastructure investment. However, much less is known about the effects of local governance reform on the quality of local infrastructure. This paper examines the effects of governance reform implemented in rural Chinese villages on the quality of village road projects. We conduct surveys in 101 rural villages and collect data related to the implementation of the reform over the last two decades. We also measure the quality of over 550 village road projects completed in these villages. Using fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation methods, we find that the implementation of village governance reform increases the quality of village road projects. We also find evidence supporting the following effect mechanisms: (1) village leaders become younger and more educated, (2) high quality road projects increase incumbent leaders' re-election chances, and (3) village residents participate more actively in the management and monitoring of village road projects.",
keywords = "Infrastructure quality, Local governance, Rural China, Village participation, Village roads",
author = "WONG, {Ho Lun, Alex} and Yu WANG and Renfu LUO and Linxiu ZHANG and Scott ROZELLE",
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doi = "10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.06.006",
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Local governance and the quality of local infrastructure : evidence from village road projects in rural China. / WONG, Ho Lun, Alex; WANG, Yu; LUO, Renfu; ZHANG, Linxiu; ROZELLE, Scott.

In: Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 152, 08.2017, p. 119-132.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Local governance and the quality of local infrastructure : evidence from village road projects in rural China

AU - WONG, Ho Lun, Alex

AU - WANG, Yu

AU - LUO, Renfu

AU - ZHANG, Linxiu

AU - ROZELLE, Scott

N1 - Authors acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71473239, 71033003, and 71333012).

PY - 2017/8

Y1 - 2017/8

N2 - Research has shown that allowing local communities to elect their own leaders increases local infrastructure investment. However, much less is known about the effects of local governance reform on the quality of local infrastructure. This paper examines the effects of governance reform implemented in rural Chinese villages on the quality of village road projects. We conduct surveys in 101 rural villages and collect data related to the implementation of the reform over the last two decades. We also measure the quality of over 550 village road projects completed in these villages. Using fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation methods, we find that the implementation of village governance reform increases the quality of village road projects. We also find evidence supporting the following effect mechanisms: (1) village leaders become younger and more educated, (2) high quality road projects increase incumbent leaders' re-election chances, and (3) village residents participate more actively in the management and monitoring of village road projects.

AB - Research has shown that allowing local communities to elect their own leaders increases local infrastructure investment. However, much less is known about the effects of local governance reform on the quality of local infrastructure. This paper examines the effects of governance reform implemented in rural Chinese villages on the quality of village road projects. We conduct surveys in 101 rural villages and collect data related to the implementation of the reform over the last two decades. We also measure the quality of over 550 village road projects completed in these villages. Using fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation methods, we find that the implementation of village governance reform increases the quality of village road projects. We also find evidence supporting the following effect mechanisms: (1) village leaders become younger and more educated, (2) high quality road projects increase incumbent leaders' re-election chances, and (3) village residents participate more actively in the management and monitoring of village road projects.

KW - Infrastructure quality

KW - Local governance

KW - Rural China

KW - Village participation

KW - Village roads

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/6149

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JO - Journal of Public Economics

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