Career Concerns, Beijing Style

Jiahua Che, Kim Sau Chung*, Xue Qiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1535
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number4
Early online date29 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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