Written by Jessica Teets.
Since Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption campaign, the investigation and punishment of local officials has been viewed as a successful way to restore “legitimacy” to the Chinese Communist Party and local state governments. However, after several years of this campaign, many policymakers and scholars have pointed out the counter-intuitive ways in which this reduction in local official discretion has negatively impacted both the economy and governance. For example, a former central bank official, David Li, argues that the anti-corruption campaign has exacerbated economic slowdown by closing off informal mechanisms for using interpersonal ties to allocate resources and forge contracts. Additionally, Xuelian Chen and Christian Göbel contend that the campaign has altered local incentive structures encouraging innovation thereby reducing local innovation, often described as the source of the adaptability of the CCP to changing economic, social and political conditions. Continue reading “How Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Reduces Local Discretion and Policy Innovation”