Surveys and Data Sets

China Household and Ethnicity Survey (CHES), 2011

The China Household Ethnicity Survey (CHES) looks at the economic behaviour of China’s ethnic majority and minority populations. It uses a stratified random sampling method to obtain data points that look at household wages, educational outcomes, labour force mobility, social security, and subjective well-being indicators. The CHES 2011 data set includes 10,516 urban and rural households, encompassing 41,733 individuals; further, it covers six of the eight regions (e.g. Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Guangxi, Guizhou and Hunan) where the majority of China’s ethnic minority populations are located (see coverage map).


1. Gustafsson, B., Hasmath, R. and Ding, S., eds. (2021) Ethnicity and Inequality in China. New York and Oxford: Routledge. [ISBN: 9780367497033]

  • Chapter (w/B. Gustafsson and S. Ding): “Ethnicity and Inequality in China: An Introduction”, pp. 1-24.

  • Chapter (w/A. MacDonald): “Discrimination in Ethnic Minority Earnings? Evidence from Urban China”, pp. 216-232.

2. MacDonald, A. and Hasmath, R. (2019) “Outsider Ethnic Minorities and Wage Determination in China”, International Labour Review 158(3): 489-508.

3. Hasmath, R. and MacDonald, A. (2018) “Beyond Special Privileges: The Discretionary Treatment of Ethnic Minorities in China’s Welfare System”, Journal of Social Policy 47(2): 295-316.

Chinese Citizens Expectations of the State Survey (CCESS), 2016 and 2019

The Chinese Citizens Expectations of the State Survey (CCESS) looks at individuals' ideological beliefs and attitudes pertaining to the state's role in the economy, and economic governance more broadly. Both survey waves employ a seven-point Likert scale to measure the strength of respondents’ agreement and disagreement with queries relating to state ownership, market regulation, competition policy, industrial policy, public goods management and environmental protection.

CCESS 2016 was conducted using a random digit dialing telephone survey that ran from late 2015 to early 2016. Urban residents (ages 21 and above) were targeted in six cities corresponding to varying levels of socio-economic development: Beijing and Shanghai (tier-one); Chengdu, Hefei, Hohhot and Wuhan (tier-two). The N-size of the survey was 1,000 respondents, with a sampling scale of 131,291 individuals, involving 68,162 telephone numbers (see basic demographic information).

CCESS 2019 was conducted using an online nation-wide, urban survey (N = 1,500) fielded in July 2019 (see coverage distribution). Quotas for both age and education were employed to ensure the urban sample was not skewed for younger ages and/or the highly educated.


1. Eaton, S. and Hasmath, R. (2021) “Economic Legitimation in a New Era: Public Attitudes About State Ownership and Market Regulation”, The China Quarterly 246: 447-472.

2. Hasmath, R. (2021) “Citizens’ Support for Economic Governance Approaches in Contemporary China”, Paper Presented at American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, September 30-October 3.

3. Hasmath, R., MacDonald, A. and Steinhardt, C. (2021) “Changing Sources of Popular Legitimacy Amongst China’s Citizenry”, Paper Presented at International Political Science Association World Congress, July 10-15 .

4. MacDonald, A. and Hasmath, R. (2020) “How Citizens Order Their Political Mind: Contemporary Ideology in China”, Paper Presented at Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference (San Juan, Puerto Rico), January 9-11.

5. MacDonald, A. and Hasmath, R. (2018) “Does Ideology Matter for the Citizenry in China? Public Attitudes and Preferences for Economic Policies”, Paper Presented at Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference (Chicago, USA), April 5-8.

Policy Innovation in China Survey (PICS), 2018

The Policy Innovation in China Survey (PICS) examines local government officials' feelings of personal efficacy and risk tolerance when it comes to policymaking. It also includes questions about orientation towards authority, the importance of cognition or learning from societal or other forms of feedback, and which factors help or hinder policy innovation. Between 2016 and 2018, over 900 local government officials were surveyed. Participants were drawn from eight different provinces, including Shangdong (35%), Guangdong (20%), Hebei (15%), and the remaining five provinces (Anhui, Gansu, Hubei, Yunnan, and Zhejiang) account for between 5-10% of the total sample respectively.


1. Lewis, O., Teets, J. and Hasmath, R. (2021) “Exploring Political Personalities: The Micro-Foundations of Local Policy Innovation in China”, Governance.

2. Hasmath, R., Lewis, O. and Teets, J. (2021) “The Consultative Personality: How Some Officials in China Embrace a Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Policy”, Working Paper.

3. Teets, J. and Hasmath, R. (2020) “The Evolution of Policy Experimentation in China”, Journal of Asian Public Policy 13(1): 49-59. [audio paper: video and podcast]

4. Hasmath, R., Teets, J. and Lewis, O. (2019) “The Innovative Personality? Policymaking and Experimentation in an Authoritarian Bureaucracy”, Public Administration and Development 39(3): 154-162. [audio paper: video and podcast]

5. Teets, J., Hasmath, R. and Lewis, O. (2017) “The Incentive to Innovate? The Behavior of Policymakers in China”, Journal of Chinese Political Science 22(4): 505-517. [audio paper: video and podcast]

Civic Participation in China Survey (CPCS), 2018 and 2020

The Civic Participation in China Survey (CPCS) is a nation-wide, randomized online survey of urban residents looking at volunteering, charitable giving, and perceptions of citizenship and civic engagement. CPCS 2018 data was collected in October 2018 (1,402 valid responses), and CPCS 2020 data was collected between December 2019 and February 2020 (4,999 valid responses).

The survey included a total of 38 questions and involved both multiple choice and ranking questions. Individual demographic information gathered by the survey included: age, gender, number of children, city, and Communist Party membership. Socio-economic information collected included: level of education, occupation, and household income. Some questions asked respondents to choose all answers that were true, for example, asking respondents to choose all types of volunteering that they have participated in. Others asked respondents to rank answer choices, such as the appropriate type of organization to solve social problems.


1. Teets, J., Hasmath, R., Hildebrandt, T., Hsu, C. and Hsu, J. (2022) “Volunteerism and Democratic Learning in an Authoritarian State: The Case of China”, Democratization.

2. Hasmath, R., Hildebrandt, T., Teets, J., Hsu, J. and Hsu, C. (2022) “Citizens’ Expectations for Crisis Management and the Involvement of Civil Society Organizations in China”, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs.

3. Hsu, C., Teets, J. Hasmath, R., Hsu, J. and Hildebrandt, T. (2022) “The Construction and Performance of Citizenship in Contemporary China”, Journal of Contemporary China.