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Four-County Study of Chinese Local Government and Political Economy, 1990 (ICPSR 6805)

Principal Investigator(s): Eldersveld, Samuel James; Jackson, John E.; Jennings, M. Kent; Lieberthal, Kenneth; Manion, Melanie; Oksenberg, Michael; Chen, Zhefu; He, Hefeng; Shen, Mingming; Xie, Qingkui; Yang, Fengchun; Yang, Ming


This survey focuses on the views and behaviors of the mass public in China with respect to economic and governmental factors at the local countryside level in the post-Mao era. The data were collected approximately eight months after the June 1989 conflict in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the household by advanced students from Beijing University. Major topics addressed include perceived seriousness of problems such as health care, pricing, public order, industrial development, economic well-being, consumer behavior, personal problems and how to overcome them, perceived local problems, views about leaders and important groups, political interest, media behavior, civic competence and political reform, and perceptions of injustice. Demographic variables include sex, age, ethnicity, education level, occupation, marital status, military service, household income, political party affiliation, age and number of children, and the number of people in the household.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


Data File - Download All Files (10.072 MB)
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Study Description


Eldersveld, Samuel James, John E. Jackson, M. Kent Jennings, Kenneth Lieberthal, Melanie Manion, Michael Oksenberg, Zhefu Chen, Hefeng He, Mingming Shen, Qingkui Xie, Fengchun Yang, and Ming Yang. Four-County Study of Chinese Local Government and Political Economy, 1990. ICPSR06805-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-11-13. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06805.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06805.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Henry Luce Foundation (INT-8913601 (NSF))
  • National Science Foundation (INT-8913601 (NSF))
  • Ministry of Education of the Peoples Republic of China

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, consumer attitudes, economic conditions, economic reform, government, government corruption, household income, income distribution, life satisfaction, media use, party leaders, political attitudes, political efficacy, political participation, political persecution, political reform, private ownership, public opinion, shopping, standard of living, social issues, social justice

Geographic Coverage:    China (Peoples Republic), Global

Time Period:   

  • 1990

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990-02--1990-03

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Adult population aged 18 and older residing in four counties in the People's Republic of China in 1990 who were physically and mentally able to take part.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data available for download are not weighted, and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis. (2) To protect respondent confidentiality, codes in variables M7002 and M7003 were blanked by the principal investigator, and the names of the counties, townships, and villages corresponding to codes in variables M0003, M0004, and M0005 were intentionally omitted. (3) Value labels for unknown codes were added in several variables. (4) Several values in variables M2084, M3111, M3121, and M3131 were recoded in order to conform to the valid values listed in the original documentation. (5) The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.


Sample:    The sampling went through four stages. Four counties were selected using nonprobability techniques. Probability procedures were used for subsequent sampling. Five townships were initially selected in each county and then three villages within each township. These units were selected with probability proportionate to size (pps) with stratification by income level being introduced at the township stage. In addition, each county seat was selected as a self-representing area. Within each village, individual respondents were drawn from household listings, using interval sampling. Approximately the same number of respondents were targeted in each village, and roughly equal numbers of respondents were targeted from each county as well.

Weight:    The data contain a weight variable (M0011) that should be used in analyzing the data. The study design called for approximately equal sized samples within each county, which varied in population size. The weight variable takes into account the resultant unequal selection probabilities across the four counties. Each respondent within a given county has the same weight. Use of this weight variable is appropriate when making descriptive statements about the sample as a whole.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.


Original ICPSR Release:   1996-11-21

Version History:

  • 2007-11-13 Value labels were added to the data file. Stata setup files, and SAS and Stata supplemental files have been added to this data collection. Value labels for unknown codes were added, and several values in variables M2084, M3111, M3121, and M3131 were recoded. The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis. The codebook is being released in Portable Document Format (PDF) and includes question text. The data collection instrument was made into its own file.

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