Title: Campaign-style Implementation and Affordable Housing Provision in China
Speaker: Xin Sun King’s College London
Sponsor：Institute of Governance
Time: 2018/7/13 14:30
Existing literature on policy implementation in China identified campaign-style implementation as an extensively adopted tool for the Chinese government to achieve its policy goals. However, scholars have yet to reach agreement on the effects of campaign-style implementation. While some scholars argue that campaigns strengthen policy implementation and improve policy outcomes, others point out the drawbacks of campaigns. This research examines a national campaign adopted by the Chinese government in the early 2010s to provide affordable housing for urban residents. Using a city-level data set, the empirical analysis reaches two major findings. First, campaign-style implementation politicizes local officials’ incentives and behaviour in affordable housing provision. Local officials’ political interests – measured with the career backgrounds of these officials – affect their decisions of spending on affordable housing. Second, campaign-style implementation fails to effectively address the housing need of local residents. More specifically, in cities where residents face higher levels of housing difficulty, local officials spend less on affordable housing, thereby causing misallocation of resources from a national point of view. In combination, these findings point to the weakness of campaign-style implementation and calls for more institutionalized mechanisms to strengthen bottom-up accountability.
Xin Sun is Lecturer in Chinese and East Asian Business at King’s College London. Prior to joining King’s, he held academic positions at University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on political economy, urbanization, and regulation and governance in China. His research has appeared in Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of East Asian Studies, Political Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, The China Journal, and World Development. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2014 with a Ph.D. in political science. He also holds a BA from Peking University.