CCER讨论稿:Social Embeddedness, Local Officials and China’s Great Famine

发布日期:2023-01-04 01:49    来源:

E2023001                                                          2023-01-04


Zhi-An Hu, Yang Yao, Wuyue You




This paper studies how social ties between officials and local citizens ensure political accountability during China’s Great Famine 1959–1961. We find that counties governed by officials assigned to their home regions had significantly lower famine mortalities than those governed by outside officials. Compared with outside officials, home officials (i) implemented agricultural procurement more flexibly during the Great Leap Forward (GLF) preceding the famine; (ii) expended more on social affairs such as calamity relief during the GLF; and (iii) persecuted fewer people during the Anti-Rightist Campaign in 1957. These results are consistent with the prosocial incentives and information advantages of home officials. Moreover, we show that the identity of officials shapes political trust in the long run.

Keywords: Home officials, Famine, Local accountability

JEL classification: M5, D73, N45