Decentralization and political career concerns

Jiahua Che, Kim Sau Chung*, Yang K. Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Politicians' career paths often start at some subnational governments and end at the national one. Allocation of authorities among national and subnational governments affects (i) how tempting the prospects of taking national offices are, and hence how strong bureaucrats' political career concerns are, and (ii) whether the incentives generated by these political career concerns can be put into productive use at subnational governments. We illustrate this tradeoff in determining the optimal degree of decentralization using China as a case study. We also compare the equilibrium degree of decentralization in autocracy and in democracy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-210
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Public Economics
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Career concerns
    • Cycles
    • Decentralization


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