Becoming Global Billionaires from Mainland China: Theory and Evidence [Paper Status: Full draft available, please contact my supervisors for access.] Abstract: The increase in the number of global billionaires from mainland China is a puzzle viewed from the standpoint of ``extractive institutions''. Guided by a proposed conceptual framework relating socio-political backgrounds of the billionaire entrepreneurs to observable financing decisions, I show, under conditions of an open economy, politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs (e.g., Jack Ma) could attenuate, to some degree, political economy as well as financial frictions via capital injections from foreign venture capitalists. Building a unique database, I find, using a human equation, that (i) the politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs financed by foreign venture capitalists are more likely to float their companies outside mainland China (mainly in Hong Kong and the U.S), use offshore financing vehicles, and enter into innovative sectors; and (ii) the politically connected global billionaire entrepreneurs, however, are strongly associated with a record of state-owned enterprise (SOE) restructuring. (JEL: G10, L26, O31, P26, O53, F63)
Authoritarian Turnover, State Capacity, and Violence: Revisiting Huntington's Hypothesis [Paper Status: Full draft completed and available.] Abstract: Empirical studies using democratization as natural experiments tend to assume that a breakdown of authoritarian regimes naturally results in democracy. This paper contends that authoritarian turnovers (e.g., Iran in 1979, Cuba in 1959) are prevalent throughout human history and across the developing world in contemporary times. Built on this observation, I show how Huntington's observation on political development in changing societies could be formalized within the burgeoning literature of formal political economy. Using a newly constructed dataset from authoritarian regimes, I consider the impact of authoritarian turnover without democratization as a natural experiment using dynamic panel techniques. Several novel findings are reported: (a) exogenous authoritarian turnover without democratization has on limited growth effects; (b) party regimes are markedly more robust than other authoritarian systems; (c) states with lower capacity perform poorly following turnover. (JEL: P16, O5, O11)
Serving the People or the People's Note: Political Economy of Deng Xiaoping Forthcoming [This paper is dedicated to China's Reform and Opening Program (改革开放) for her 40th Anniversary, an ambitious plan masterminded by Deng Xiaoping, known as "the chief designer" (总设计师)].
Pre-doctoral Publication: Kezhou Xiao, and Brantly Womack. "Distortion and Credibility within China's Internal Information System." Journal of Contemporary China 23. 88 (2014): 680-697. [The published version: pdf.] Reprinted in Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age: Internet, Media, and Public Opinion (2018)
Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age: Internet, Media, and Public Opinion. [Book website: here.] Abstract: This book examines information and public opinion control by the authoritarian state in response to popular access to information and upgraded political communication channels among the citizens in contemporary China. Empowered by mass media, particularly social media and other information technology, Chinese citizen’s access to information has been expanded. Publicly focusing events and opinions have served as catalysts to shape the agenda for policy making and law making, narrow down the set of policy options, and change the pace of policy implementation. Yet, the authoritarian state remains in tight control of media, including social media, to deny the free flow of information and shape public opinion through a centralized institutional framework for propaganda and information technologies. The evolving process of media control and public opinion manipulation has constrained citizen’s political participation and strengthened Chinese authoritarianism in the information age. The chapters originally published as articles in the Journal of Contemporary China.