Is China a meritocracy?


Published 06.03.19

Do government officials in China get promoted based on economic performance?

Outsiders have long wondered how meritocratic China’s political system is. Yang Yao uses data on around 7,000 Chinese government officials over the period 1994-2017 to examine how economic performance affects promotion prospects. He finds that the influence of economic performance, while initially important, has declined over time, suggesting the system has become less meritocratic.