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Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment

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  • Batista, Catia
  • Vicente, Pedro C

Abstract

Can international migration promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability? In order to examine this question, we designed a behavioral measure of the population’s desire for better governance. A postcard was distributed to households with the pledge that, if enough postcards were mailed back, results from a survey module on perceived corruption would be made public in the national media. Using data from a tailored household survey, we examine the determinants of our behavioral measure of demand for political accountability (i.e. of undertaking the costly action of mailing the postcard), and isolate the positive effect of international emigration using locality level variation. The estimated effects are robust to the use of instrumental variables, including both past migration and macro shocks in the migrant destination countries. We find that the estimated effects can be mainly attributed to those who emigrated to countries with better governance, especially return migrants.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8202.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8202

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Keywords: Cape Verde; effects of emigration on origin countries; governance; household survey; institutions; international migration; political accountability; sub-Saharan Africa;

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  1. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  3. Fidrmuc, Jan & Doyle, Orla, 2005. "Voice of the diaspora: An analysis of migrant voting behavior," ZEI Working Papers B 02-2005, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
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  8. Orla Doyle & Jan Fidrmuc, 2005. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Market Voting Behaviour," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp042, IIIS.
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  10. Catia Batista, Aitor Lacuesta and Pedro C. Vicente, 2009. "Testing the 'Brain Gain' Hypothesis: MIcro Evidence from Cape Verde," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp282, IIIS.
  11. Frederic DOCQUIER & Elisabetta LODIGIANI & Hillel RAPOPORT & Maurice SCHIFF, 2010. "Emigration and the quality of home country institutions," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010035, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  12. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
  13. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Family Ties and Political Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 4150, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Alice Mesnard & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "The Wealth Effect on New Business Startups in a Developing Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 367-392, 08.
  16. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, 04.
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