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Erschienen in: Society 6/2022

06.09.2022 | Original Article

Once Accessing the Internet, Less Trusting of Local Officials?

Evidence from A Panel Survey in China

verfasst von: Yu You, Sha Yu, Shukang Xiao

Erschienen in: Society | Ausgabe 6/2022

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Abstract

While the Internet has been profoundly changing how people participate in politics and is reshaping their political expressions in authoritarian countries, its exact effects remain ambiguous. This paper studies how Internet access and use influence public trust in local officials in authoritarian China. By using two-period panel survey data and combining difference-in-difference with propensity score matching, we find that, compared to Internet non-users, the Internet new-users show significantly lower political trust in local government officials. Further empirical evidence indicates that its causal mechanism primarily lies in the macro-structure of urban-rural heterogeneity and the micro-process of people’s changing cognition and raised expectations. Our results substantially strengthen the argument that the diffusing power of the Internet is weakening the political legitimacy of authoritarian regimes like China.
Fußnoten
1
Different transnational public opinion surveys have consistently shown that Chinese citizens trust or support their government more than do their counterparts in Western or East Asian democracies (Nathan, 2003). However, some recent research has observed dwindling public trust in China’s political institutions (Wang & You, 2016).
 
2
The sample for the 2010 CFPS baseline survey was selected in three stages: county (or equivalent), then village (or equivalent), then household. In the 2010 baseline survey, the CFPS successfully interviewed almost 15,000 families, including 30,000 individuals, with an approximate response rate of 79%. For details of the CFPS, see https://​doi.​org/​10.​18170/​DVN/​45LCSO.
 
3
The three questions to generate private PIE are (1) “Have you ever experienced injustice due to gap between the rich and the poor?” (2) “Have you ever experienced injustice due to your registered residence?” and (3) “Have you ever experienced injustice due to gender?” The four questions to generate public PIE are (1) “Have government officials ever treated you unfairly?” (2) “Have you ever had a conflict with a government employee?” (3) “When asking for a service from a government agency, have you ever experienced a delay or evasiveness?” and (4) “Have you ever experienced an unfair charge from the government when asking for a service?” For each question, yes is coded 1, and no is coded 0. We then add the scores to obtain the values for public PIE and private PIE.
 
4
Since it is necessary to include all respondents without Internet access in the 2014 survey, separately comparing between the 0-1 and 1-1 groups is no longer practicable. Thus, we just compare the 0-1 group with the 0-0 group or with the other two control groups.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Once Accessing the Internet, Less Trusting of Local Officials?
Evidence from A Panel Survey in China
verfasst von
Yu You
Sha Yu
Shukang Xiao
Publikationsdatum
06.09.2022
Verlag
Springer US
Erschienen in
Society / Ausgabe 6/2022
Print ISSN: 0147-2011
Elektronische ISSN: 1936-4725
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-022-00758-0

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