Evaluating the evaluators of political risks in emerging markets: A social network analysis of experts on Chinese politics

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Franziska Keller

In emerging markets, assessing political risks often requires a country expert’s deep knowledge of the country’s elite politics. This project collects opinions of 20 China experts on a monthly basis to produce systematic data and analysis of Chinese political elites, their power and their informal connections, as well as the strength of formal institutions over a period of 12 months. We thus develop a unique, fine-grained dataset of Chinese elites to explore how conflict, instability, or sudden policy changes come about. More importantly, the project surveys the country experts on their sources and interactions with each other. This is thus the first analysis of the experts providing much of our knowledge about elite politics and the associated political risks. Furthermore, by analyzing the possible biases introduced by experts’ interactions, it also develops a general method to aggregate expert assessments in a manner that takes into account their interdependence.

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