Land sale venue and economic growth path: Evidence from China's urban land market

Publication date: 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


  • Research paper


External to ACUI

Project theme: 

Habitat International, Volume 41, January 2014, Pages 307–313. This paper explores the impacts of different land sale venues on the economic growth path, and hence Chinese local officials' incentive structure and their strategic balance between political promotion and rent creation. By investigating the panel data of 30 provinces and municipalities from 2000 to 2009, empirical results suggest that the proportion of land sale through public auction has positive effects on local GDP growth. The implication is that local officials who choose land sale venues may be judged on the basis of their impacts on local economic performance, because China's political promotion is largely GDP-based. However, descriptive statistics further reveal that local officials tend to sell commercial and residential land but not industrial land through public auction, indicating that local officials may have a strategic balance between their political promotion incentive and rent seeking incentive. In conclusion, it is the incentive of climbing further up the career ladder that drives local officials to give up some of, if not all, their rent seeking incentive in urban land transactions.