The China model is increasingly viewed by developing countries as a viable alternative to democracy. China's allegedly merit-based promotion system is lauded as a secret ingredient of the China model. However, once being promoted to the top, Chinese leaders are as unconstrained as other autocrats. If there are fundamental reasons why other autocrats cannot commit to such a promotion system, why are Chinese leaders any different? We provide a unified theory that accommodates both China and other autocracies by postulating that they coordinate on different equilibria. Both the presence and the absence of political career concerns can arise in equilibrium.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Economics and Econometrics