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Official Characteristics, Economic Endowments and Economic Development: Evidence from the DMSP/OLS Light Data
Author(s): 
Pages: 53-65
Year: Issue:  5
Journal: Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Keyword:  official characteristiceconomic endowmenteconomic growthDMSP/OLS light data;
Abstract: How do subnational leaders affect urban economic development? Based on the database of education background and job experience of the Party chiefs of the Municipal Party Committees,this paper uses the adjusted DMSP/OLS urban night light data to measure economic development performance,and studies the contributions of official characteristics and local economic endowments to local economic growth. It comes to the conclusions as follows:firstly,after the control of other variables,local initial economic endowments are the most important factor affecting total urban night light strength and they contribute to 29% of urban economic development;secondly,individual characteristics of officials contribute to 13% of urban economic development,and official promotion incentives 2%. Those conclusions are stable in a series of robustness tests. Moreover,the contribution of individual characteristics of the Party chiefs may be much lower if taking the possibility of official appointment according to urban endowments by governments at higher levels into account. It is of practice significance to the understanding of the sources of economic growth and the clarification of the role of local government officials in urban development,and meanwhile,because economic endowments are still the most important factor affecting the discrepancy in economic development,equilibrium-based transfer payments policy should be paid attention to in the policy design aiming at the promotion of balanced economic development.
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