Tournament Competition of Chinese Political Leaders at Provincial Level

Open Access
Ren, Mengjia
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Economics and Political Science
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Russell Wade Cooper, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Shapiro, Honors Advisor
  • Gretchen Casper, Honors Advisor
  • China
  • tournament competition
  • promotion
  • provincial government
  • local leader
  • princeling status
  • economic performance
One important question in political science and economics is whether Chinese government personnel system has triggered yardstick competition among local officials to boost economic growth. In this paper I consider the incentives of Chinese local officials in terms of their career development and lifetime productivity. I find no significant positive effect of princeling status on governor’s education investment level. Officials with princeling status tend to be appointed to provinces with high historical economic growth. Also, relative GDP growth has a strong positive effect on promotion, but it has no significant effect on termination, which indicates that economic performance only matters for promotion and governors should have little to worry about being terminated due to poor economic performance.