The Village Democracy Survey is a retrospective survey on the history of electoral reforms in over 200 villages in 29 provinces in China. The sample villages are chosen to match the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Fixed Point (NFS) Panel Survey. They were drawn using a stratified random sample approach in the mid 1980s to be nationally representative at the time. Our sample excludes Chongqing and Tibet. Several focus group studies followed where we explored the details of power and fiscal arrangements between the village government and upper levels of government. Focus group participants were former village leaders, accountants and other notable village figures. The goal of the survey is to document political and economic structures in villages and the history of the implementation of electoral (and other major) reforms.
Wave I (2006): The survey includes questions regarding the date and implementation of the first election for village chairman, public goods expenditures, and the signature rights of village leaders. The survey also includes the implementation of other policies such as Household Responsibility, family planning, the Tax and Fee Reform, as well as upper government land expropriation. The years 1982-2005 are covered. These data will be released to the public at the beginning of 2014.
Wave II (2011): The goal of this survey is to follow up the first survey and to collect detailed data on the social structure of villages. The survey follows up on election dates, codes demographic data of village leaders, includes questions regarding the financing and construction of ancestral temples and village temple that we use to measure social capital, and collect data on the surnames of village households from village rosters.
These surveys are collected in collaboration with Gerard Padro-i-Miquel and Yang Yao, and with Peking University and the RCRE of the Ministry of Agriculture in China. This project acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation Grant 0922087 and the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Starting Grant Agreement No. 283837.