Social Ties and Favoritism in Chinese Science
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.
We are grateful for comments and suggestions from Jesse Shapiro and six anonymous referees.We would also like to thank Harry DeAngelo, Murray Frank, David Hirshleifer, Jerry Hoberg, Christian Julliard, Danielle Li, John Matsusaka, and Jun Pan, as well as seminar participants at a number of institutions for useful comments. Wang thank the China National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Number: 71432008) and Xu thank the China National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Number: 71472180) for financial support, and Wang and Shi thank the Australian Research Council (DP150102339) for financial support. Teng Zhong, Roy Ruoyu Ji, Jin Wang, Wenwei Yang, Hongyu Zhang, Tao Lu, and Eric Hardy provide very able RA work. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Raymond Fisman & Jing Shi & Yongxiang Wang & Rong Xu, 2018. "Social Ties and Favoritism in Chinese Science," Journal of Political Economy, vol 126(3), pages 1134-1171.