Policy Experimentation and Information Crawling: A Case Study in China’s Hukou System Reforms
26 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2012 Last revised: 25 May 2012
Date Written: April 1, 2011
The notion of policy experimentation was proposed to explain China’s adaptability in policy-making process. Heilmann (2008a) proposed ‘decentralised experimentation with ad hoc interference’ as the central feature of policy experimentation. Through installing ‘experimental points’ at local levels, this encourages the locals to explore innovative policies and draw experience from indigenous practices. This study follows the aforementioned logic and argues that the devolution of policy-making process to lower levels is not the solely important factor. I propose that information crawling at all levels, both central and locals, is crucial to the success of policy experimentation. The central level’s effort is particularly important as this enables the refinement of national policy goals, innovative policies at locals can also be selectively endorsed and spread to other non-reforming jurisdictions. This study uses the hukou system reforms as a case study, since the reforms are highly diversified and thus provides us a window to investigate the dynamics of the policy-making process.
Keywords: China, policy experimentation, policy-making, hukou system reforms
JEL Classification: D73, D78, D80, J18, J61, J68, O15, O18, O53, P21, P26, P36, P30, R23, R50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation