Getting ahead by getting on the right track: Horizontal mobility in china’s political selection process

Hok Wui Wong, Yu Zeng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Political selection in China has received increasing scholarly attention. Conventional measures of political promotion may suffer measurement error because of an (implicit) assumption that the chance of cadre promotion is constant across government and party units after controlling for their hierarchical rank. In this article, the validity of this assumption is tested. Based on the analysis of the biographical data of thousands of provincial bureau leaders, a strong agency effect is identified; leaders coming from politically important bureaus-defined by their connections to the Central Committee of the ruling party-stand a significantly higher chance of promotion than those coming from the less important ones. Incorporating the agency effect, the authors develop a continuous measure of political turnover. Using this refined measure, the authors revisit the effect of economic performance on provincial cadre promotion. While a positive relationship is found, the effect is arguably too small to be substantively significant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-84
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number109
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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