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The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 597–622 | Cite as

Political tournament and regional cooperation in China: a game theory approach

  • Yu Chen
  • Anthony G. O. Yeh
  • Yingxuan Zhang
Original Paper
  • 507 Downloads

Abstract

This paper aims to study the political incentives of government officials to cooperate with one another to achieve a common goal through game theory. Game theory is often used to analyze and explain regional cooperation by regarding it as a type of institutional collective action in which the actions of its participants (local governments or nations) greatly depend on those of the other participants. However, considering China’s political structure, the political relationship among local government key officials may also influence regional cooperation. This study used the Pan-Pearl River Delta (Pan-PRD) Cooperation, the largest regional cooperation bloc in China formed in 2004. The Pan-PRD covered nine provinces in Mainland China and two special administrative regions as a case study for this research; three models were constructed using game theory to analyze the political incentives of the provincial officials in cooperating with one another under the assumption of relative gains. Results showed that the cooperation incentives are sensitive to the variations of political rankings among the leading provincial officials. Driven by promotion incentives, cooperation is more feasible between jurisdictions with different political rankings and less feasible between jurisdictions with the same political rankings.

JEL Classification

R580 H770 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (CN) (Grant No. 51408368).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban PlanningShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Department of Urban Planning and Design and Centre of Urban Studies and Urban PlanningThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamChina
  3. 3.SRS Consortium for Advanced Study in Cooperative Dynamic GamesHong Kong Shue Yan UniversityEastern DistrictChina

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