Regime Politicization and Communist Party Membership in China, 1949–2014

Yanjie Bian, Yixue Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter develops a new theoretical model of regime politicization. Our empirical analysis shows that during 1949–2014, Chinese people with screened political loyalty consistently had greater opportunities of becoming members of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) than those who lacked such loyalty markers as a parent being a CCP member and/or an entry-level job in a political office. Subsequently, CCP memberships increased one’s attainment of elite position, high income, and large housing. On all measured socio-economic returns during 1995–2014, elite administrators had advantage over elite professionals, a result of regime stability in reforming state socialism under a durable Communist party-state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Inequality In China
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781800612143
ISBN (Print)9781800612136
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by World Scientific Publishing Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Merit credential
  • Party membership
  • Political loyalty
  • Regime politicization
  • Socio-economic returns


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