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Title: Are local governments maximizing land revenue? Evidence from China
Authors: Wang, Y
Hui, ECM 
Keywords: Career incentives
Housing price
Land auction methods
Land conveyance
Local government
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: JAI
Source: China economic review, 2017, v. 43, p. 196-215 How to cite?
Journal: China economic review 
Abstract: This paper examines how political considerations affect local officials' revenue maximization behaviors in the context of urban land conveyance in China. Particularly, we analyze government intervention based on local officials' choice of two land auction types, namely, “English auction” and “two-stage auction”. The latter presumably serves as a tool of government intervention. We aim to address the research question: “Are local governments maximizing land revenue?” The major findings are threefold. First, for cities with higher housing prices, two-stage auctions are adopted more frequently than English auctions. In addition, land parcels in these “hot” cities adopt two-stage auctions more frequently during sensitive political events, suggesting that local officials respond positively to the real estate regulation policy from central government. Second, when city leaders are more incentivized to promote economic performance, they respond less positively to rises in housing prices. Third, such interventionist behavior results in a significantly depressed land price and housing price. Despite its intention of improving public welfare, this interventionism can susceptibly cause problems of misallocation and corruption.
ISSN: 1043-951X
DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2017.02.005
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