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