Early Bird Catches the Worm? Rewarding Policy Experimentation in China, 1980-2003
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
For empirical test, we construct a first-ever large-N (n=5253) dataset of China’s policy experimentation by coding all reports on policy experimentation in Peoples’ Daily (renmin ribao, the most authoritative newspaper in China) from 1980-2003. Descriptive analysis shows the regional distribution, initiators and contents of policy experiments observed by the central authority. A panel dataset is constructed consisting of the numbers, types and contents of policy experiments carried out in each province from 1980 to 2003. We also collect career data of all provincial party secretaries and governors in the same period, including their promotion/demotion records and other biographic attributes. Ordinal Logistic Model is used to test the aforementioned hypotheses with other provincial socio-economic variables controlled.
Findings of this research will help understand better the relation between the micro-level incentives of political leaders on one hand, and the scales, contents and processes of policy innovation as observed on the other hand. By teasing out the existence of top-down incentive as a distinct attribute of China’s policy process, it will also shed light on the current discussion on the comparison of policy process between China and its counterparts in a more democratic setting.