NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ying Bai

Department of Economics,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, Hong Kong

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Chinese University of Hong Kong

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020The Economic Consequences of Political Hierarchy: Evidence from Regime Changes in China, AD1000-2000
with Ruixue Jia: w26652
We argue that China, with its long history, a relatively stable political system, and multiple regime changes, provides us an opportunity to investigate the political economy of administrative hierarchy. Using prefecture-level panel data and exploiting regime changes during AD1000-2000, we find that gaining and losing importance in the political hierarchy led to the rise and decline of different prefectures (measured by population density and urbanization). Moreover, political hierarchy shapes regional development via both political and market channels (reflected by public employment and transportation networks). More broadly, our study serves as new evidence on how politics shapes economic geography and offers a context to understand changes in economic activity location in the long run.
 
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