East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

Nov 13 (TUE) Peter Lorentzen, “Personal Ties, Meritocracy, and China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign”




“Personal Ties, Meritocracy, and China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign” 

Peter Lorentzen

University of San Francisco

Nov 13, TUE 12:30-1:50 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Joint Session with the CPW

A light lunch will be provided


About the Presenter

Peter Lorentzen is an assistant professor in the Economics Department of the University of San Francisco. His research primarily concerns the politics and economics of development and governance, with a focus on China. His articles have been published in the American Journal of Political Science, the China Quarterly, Genetics in Medicine, the Journal of Economic Growth, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Modern China, the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and World Development. He received his PhD in Business Administration from Stanford University. His webpage is www.peterlorentzen.com.


Abstract of the Paper

We examine empirically the targeting and motivations of the first phase of China’s anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping (2012-2015). Combining data on officials’ personal networks revealed during the campaign with biographical and economic data, we find evidence that the campaign indeed targeted corruption. In addition, individuals, networks, and geographic regions that departed sharply from meritocratic governance practices appear to have been a primary target, with higher rates of indictment. This is consistent with the party’s own claim that the crackdown was designed to reduce corruption and strengthen party-led meritocracy. However, individuals with personal ties to Xi Jinping appear to be exempt from investigation while, individuals with ties to the other six members of the Politburo Standing Committee had no special protection. These findings supporting the perception that the crackdown was also intended to consolidate political power in Xi’s hands.


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This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies
The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences 

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