The dual effect of economic development on trust in the central government : Evidence from two waves of a national survey in China

Shupeng LYU, Lianjiang LI

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

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using individual-level survey data while incorporating county/districtlevel information on per capita gross domestic product, this study finds that economic development in China has a dual effect on popular trust in the central government. First, positive individual-level perception of family economic conditions (compared to the past) increases trust in central government. Second, county/district-level per capita GDP is negatively correlated with individual-level trust in the central government. Methodologically, the article suggests that researchers may conduct contextualized thought experiment to establish logical priority of one event over another, particularly when it is impractical to empirically determine the temporal sequence of phenomena that are observed simultaneously in cross-sectional surveys. The article also suggests that China scholars may employ cross-region comparison as a substitute for longitudinal research when it comes to projecting long-term effects of quantitatively traceable changes such as economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-85
Number of pages21
JournalChina Review
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Shupeng Lyu acknowledges the support of the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 15CZZ010) and the Chinese National Science Foundation for Postdoctoral Fellows (No. 2016M602788). Lianjiang Li acknowledges the support of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR Government (Project CUHK14613815). For helpful comments on earlier drafts, the authors thank Xiang Gao, Yue Guan, Wei Shan, John Kennedy, Pierre Landry, two anonymous reviewers, and especially the insightful reviewer in the second round of refereeing

Funding Information:
9 The Asian Barometer Project is codirected by Fu Hu and Yun-han Chu and receives major funding support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, Academia Sinica, and National Taiwan University. The Asian Barometer Project Office (www.asianbarometer.org) is solely responsible for data distri-bution. Data used with permission.

Funding Information:
*Shupeng Lyu acknowledges the support of the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 15CZZ010) and the Chinese National Science Foundation for Postdoctoral Fellows (No. 2016M602788). Lianjiang Li acknowledges the support of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR Government (Project CUHK14613815). For helpful comments on earlier drafts, the authors thank Xiang Gao, Yue Guan, Wei Shan, John Kennedy, Pierre Landry, two anonymous reviewers, and especially the insightful reviewer in the second round of refereeing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Chinese University Press. All rights reserved.

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