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Emigration and the quality of home country institutions

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Author Info

  • Frederic DOCQUIER

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)

  • Elisabetta LODIGIANI

    ()
    (CREA, Université du Luxembourg and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)

  • Hillel RAPOPORT

    ()
    (CID, Harvard University, Bar-Ilan University and EQUIPPE)

  • Maurice SCHIFF

    ()
    (World Bank, Development Economics Research Group)

Abstract

Emigration affects institutions at home in a number of ways. While people may have fewer incentives to voice when they have exit options, emigrants can voice once abroad and contribute to the diffusion of democratic values and norms. We first document these channels and then consider dynamic-panel regressions to investigate the overall impact of emigration on institutions in the home country. We find that both openess to migration and human capital have a positive impact on institutions (as measured by standard democracy and economic freedom indices). This implies that unskilled migration has a positive effect on institutional quality while the effect of skilled migration (or brain drain) is ambiguous. Using the point estimates from our regressions, we simulate the marginal effect of skilled emigration on institutional quality. In general, the simulations confirm that the brain drain has an ambiguous impact on institutions, though a significant institutional gain obtains for a limited set of countries when incentive effects of the brain drain on human capital formation are taken into account.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2010035.

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Length: 47
Date of creation: 20 Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010035

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Keywords: Migration; brain drain; institutions; diaspora effects; democracy;

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References

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  1. Amparo Castello Climent, 2006. "On the Distribution of Education and Democracy," Working Papers 0602, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
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Cited by:
  1. Batista, Catia & Vicente, Pedro C, 2011. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8202, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jean-Louis COMBES & Mathilde MAUREL & Christian EBEKE, 2013. "The effect of remittances prior to an election," Working Papers 201307, CERDI.
  3. Cooray, Arusha & Schneider, Friedrich, 2014. "Does Corruption Promote Emigration? An Empirical Examination," IZA Discussion Papers 8094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Docquier, Frédéric & Marfouk, Abdeslam & Özden, Caglar & Parsons, Christopher, 2011. "Geographic, Gender and Skill Structure of International Migration," MPRA Paper 47917, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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