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From one to many central plans: drug advertising inspections and intra-national protectionism in China

Eberhardt, Markus; Wang, Zheng; Yu, Zhihong


Markus Eberhardt

Zheng Wang

Zhihong Yu


This paper provides the first micro-level evidence for the existence and patterns of intra-national protectionism in China. We demonstrate that drug advertising inspections are used by provincial governments to discriminate against firms from outside the province. We further reveal systematic patterns in the degree of discrimination across firms: those from neighboring areas, those from regions with more economic links to the destination province, those from provinces with a stronger presence in the market, and those with political ties to “allied” provincial governments are less likely to be targeted. Our findings highlight the unique politico-economic structure in China and confirm that giving local governments strong incentives to compete with each other may exacerbate the market distortions inherent in a partially reformed economy.


Eberhardt, M., Wang, Z., & Yu, Z. (2016). From one to many central plans: drug advertising inspections and intra-national protectionism in China. Journal of comparative economics, 44(3), 608-622.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 8, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2015
Publication Date 2016-08
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 10, 2016
Journal Journal of comparative economics
Print ISSN 0147-5967
Electronic ISSN 1095-7227
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 3
Pages 608-622
Keywords Intra-national protectionism, Drug advertising, China
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: From one to many central plans: Drug advertising inspections and intra-national protectionism in China; Journal Title: Journal of Comparative Economics; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2015 Association for Comparative Economic Studies. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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