Buying Inertia: Preempting Social Disorder With Selective Welfare Provision in Urban China
CitationPan, Jennifer. 2015. Buying Inertia: Preempting Social Disorder With Selective Welfare Provision in Urban China. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractA considerable number of welfare programs and social policies are adopted by authoritarian regimes, but we know relatively little about what shapes the pattern of redistribution in the absence of electoral competition. This dissertation demonstrates that in authoritarian regimes like China, selective welfare provision is used to preempt disruptions to social order when the regime can obtain information about the private preferences of individuals. For China’s Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (Dibao) program, threats of collective action cause governments to be more responsive to applicants for Dibao, individuals who have greater potential to disrupt social order are more likely to be recipients of benefits, and benefits are distributed before time periods when disruptions are expected to occur and in localities where the threat of disruptions is a greater concern. Contrary to previous understandings, information enables welfare benefits to be targeted at specific individuals, and provision is shaped by a fear of social disorder, even when disorder does not pose a direct threat to the survival of the regime.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467174
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