One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Favoritism in Authoritarian Regimes

Friday, April 26, 2019 - 12:30 to 14:00

Allard Hall, Rm 335

I first document the phenomenon of hometown favoritism in Vietnam, showing that the patrilineal ancestral hometowns of high-ranked officials receive improvements in a broad range of infrastructure following their promotions. Hometown favoritism is pervasive across all ranks, even among officials without budget authority, except among elected legislators. Favors are narrowly targeted towards small communes that have no political power, and are strengthened with bad local governance and strong local family values. The evidence suggests a likely motive of social preferences for hometown. The evidence is also compared with similar phenomena of hometown favoritism in China.

I further investigate the role of hometown favoritism in political patronage in Vietnam. While being from the same district of high-ranked officials improves one's chance of promotion, being simply from the same province hurts one’s chance. The evidence is consistent with the existence of an implicit rule that limits overrepresentation in top politics, even in an authoritarian regime.

Quoc-Anh Do

Quoc-Anh Do, Associate Professor of Economics, Sciences Po, Paris, France

Quoc-Anh Do is an associate professor of economics at the Department of Economics and the LIEPP (Interdisciplinary Center of Public Policy Evaluation) at Sciences Po, Paris, France. His research targets areas in applied microeconomics at the intersections with political science and sociology, in the fields of political economy, development economics, and social networks. His contributions include notably topics in the political economy of capital cities, governance, media, and conflicts. His publications have appeared on several general interest journals, including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. Vietnamese of origin and educated in French engineering schools, Quoc-Anh Do obtained his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 2008, and has been on the faculty of Singapore Management University, and then Sciences Po since 2012.

For further information, contact Professor Wei Cui

A light lunch will be served, please RSVP to