Ethnic Discrimination in Criminal Sentencing in China

Yue Hou, Rory Truex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article presents the first analysis of ethnic discrimination in sentencing patterns in the People’s Republic of China, focusing on drug cases in Yunnan Province. We posit the problem minority hypothesis, which holds that discrimination in an authoritarian system emerges when an ethnic group becomes associated with behavior that generates social instability. On average, minority defendants in Yunnan receive sentences that are about 2.1–7.5 months longer than Han defendants who have committed similar drug crimes. Further analysis of data from all provinces reveals that this bias is largest for groups heavily involved in the drug trade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2294-2299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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