We study how sharing a hometown or college connection with an incumbent member of China's Politburo affects a candidate's likelihood of selection as a new member. In specifications that include fixed effects to absorb quality differences across cities and colleges, we find that hometown and college connections are each associated with 5-9 percentage point reductions in selection probability. This "connections penalty" is equally strong for retiring Politburo members, arguing against quota-based explanations, and it is much stronger for junior Politburo members, consistent with a role for intra-factional competition. Our findings differ from earlier work because of our emphasis on within-group variation, and our focus on shared hometown and college— rather than shared workplace–connections.
|Journal||American Economic Review|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2020|
- Social ties
- political connections
- political elite