The provision of public goods in rural areas, which is a typical collective action of villagers, not only impacts farm households’ income but is also closely related to the rural governance structure. Maintaining and encouraging villagers’ participation in village elections and public affairs are very important to rural economic development and to the healthy growth of the village autonomy system as well. Since the implementation of the election system of villagers’ committee in China, a number of studies have been conducted with regard to the relationship between rural elections and public goods provision, and some of them have examined the determinants of villagers’ participation in this system. However, most existing studies have failed to distinguish between different electoral behaviors of villagers during the complex election process; neither have they made compelling arguments for the dynamic mechanism of villagers’ diverse motivations for voting behaviors. Besides, still fewer studies conducted large-scale field surveys to collect first-hand data. Most of the current researches are only involved in theoretical analyses and/or case studies, leading to lack of reliable evidence for their arguments. Unlike the previous researches, this paper fills the gap in the existing literature by applying Hiresman’s Exit-Voice Theory to the objective comparison between the voting behaviors of villagers and their preferences for public goods with the first-hand data collected from 1981 samples of rural households in 10 provinces across China. In addition, it empirically tests the impacts of villagers’ preferences for and satisfaction with various public goods on their voting behavior, further identifying the factors that affect the voters’ participation in elections. The empirical results suggest that: (1) villagers will participate in the village elections if they have demands for public goods, otherwise the probability of “exiting” from the election increases significantly; (2) different villagers have different potential demands for public goods, and will exhibit corresponding voting behaviors to express their interest demands; (3) sources of personal income, level of education and village size have significant impacts on villagers’ participation in the elections, although these impacts vary among different groups. This paper contributes to the existing literature by analyzing the impact of villagers’ satisfaction with public goods supply on their opinions and behaviors as exhibited in their participation in village governance. The first-hand data was collected between July, 2010 and July, 2011 in 100 villages covering 10 provinces, namely, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Anhui, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Hainan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Guizhou. The second contribution of this paper is the Exit-Voice-Theory-based comparative analysis of voting behavior by dividing the voters into groups with different behavioral characteristics, thus effectively reducing the risk of estimation bias.
卫龙宝 朱西湖 徐广彤. 公共品供给满意度对村民选举参与行为的影响研究——基于“退出-呼吁”理论的新视角[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2016, 2(1): 81-.
Wei Longbao Zhu Xihu Xu Guangtong. The Impact of Villagers'Satisfaction with Public Goods Provision on Their Behavior in Grass-root Elections: A New Perspective of the Exit-Voice Theory. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2016, 2(1): 81-.