What motivates non-democratic leadership: Evidence from COVID-19 reopenings in China

Raymond Fisman, Hui Lin, Cong Sun, Yongxiang Wang, Daxuan Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examine Chinese cities’ COVID-19 reopening plans as a window into governments’ economic and social priorities. We measure reopenings based on official government news announcements, and show that these are predicted by citizen discontent, as captured by Baidu searches for terms such as “unemployment” and “protest” in the prior week. The effects are particularly strong early in the epidemic, indicating a priority on initiating economic recovery as early as possible. These results indicate that even a non-democratic government may respond to citizen concerns, possibly to minimize dissent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104389
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume196
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bureaucratic incentives
  • Unrest
  • Non-democracy
  • China
  • COVID-19

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What motivates non-democratic leadership: Evidence from COVID-19 reopenings in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this