Force Behind Anti-Corruption: Evidence from China
46 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 20 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 24, 2020
This paper documents the clientelism in anti-corruption investigations across the interpolitician network in the context of China. Patronage connections to highly ranked politicians (i.e., Politburo of the Communist Party of China) make local politicians less likely to be investigated and receive lighter sentences after being investigated. We employ a regression discontinuity design (RDD) to establish the causality of this protection effect. We use the mandatory retirement age of 68 years old for Politburo members as the cut-off in the RDD and find discontinuous jumps in the investigation probability of local politicians when their connected Politburo members step down at the retirement age cut-off. Politician attributes are also significantly associated with investigation probabilities, such as work experience in Beijing and race. This paper contributes to the on-going debate on the motivations of the incumbent government in anti-corruption campaigns.
Keywords: Anti-Corruption, Patronage connection, Protection
JEL Classification: D72, D73, G0, P26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation