Force Behind Anti-Corruption: Evidence from China

46 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 20 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jing Rong Goh

Jing Rong Goh

Risk Lighthouse International, Singapore

Hong Ru

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University

Kunru Zou

Renmin University of China

Date Written: April 24, 2020

Abstract

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

Goh, Jing Rong and Ru, Hong and Zou, Kunru, Force Behind Anti-Corruption: Evidence from China (April 24, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3227368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3227368

Jing Rong Goh

Risk Lighthouse International, Singapore ( email )

Hong Ru (Contact Author)

Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore
(+65) 67904661 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://hongru.mit.edu/

Kunru Zou

Renmin University of China ( email )

Room B906
Xianjin Building
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

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