Housing scholars have debated over the effectiveness of top-down political mandates to improve local affordable housing production. Whereas existing studies focussed on local fiscal and political constraints, how local compliance is shaped by vertical and horizontal dynamics of inter-governmental relationships is less known. This study investigates city government compliance with a top-down mandate of affordable housing construction during 2011–2015 in the context of the multi-tiered governmental hierarchy of China. Using a unique city-level panel dataset of the committed target of affordable housing construction, the analysis reveals substantially uneven compliance across cities and regions. Findings indicate that such variation in local goal setting can be attributed to both a divergence in local capacity of resource mobilization as well as political bargaining and competition within provinces. This research expands the scholarly knowledge of local strategic compliance with a top-down housing mandate, as well as local government behaviour in affordable housing policy from the lens of policy implementation.
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- Affordable housing
- policy implementation