Social ties and favoritism in Chinese science

Raymond Fisman, Jing Shi, Yongxiang Wang, Rong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


We study favoritism via hometown ties, a common source of favor exchange in China, in fellow selection of the Chinese Academies of Sciences and Engineering. Hometown ties to fellow selection committee members increase candidates’ election probability by 39 percent, coming entirely from the selection stage involving an in-person meeting. Elected hometown-connected candidates are half as likely to have a high-impact publication as elected fellows without connections. CAS/CAE membership increases the probability of university leadership appointments and is associated with a US$9.5 million increase in annual funding for fellows’ institutions, indicating that hometown favoritism has potentially large effects on resource allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1171
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Social ties and favoritism in Chinese science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this