Does migration promote democratization? Evidence from the Mexican transition
This paper presents evidence for a causal effect of international migration on the functioning of democratic institutions in the sending country. It does so for the particular case of the Mexican democratization process, using data from municipal elections for the 2000–2002 electoral cycle. Estimating an instrumental variable probit model, it is found that migration significantly increases the probability of a party in opposition to the former state party PRI to win in a municipal election for the first time. A 1% point increase in the proportion of migrant households in a municipality is estimated to increase the probability of an opposition party victory in so far continuously state-party ruled town halls by more than half a percent. This result is robust to the inclusion of controls for party preferences and can be interpreted to be the result of improved democratic institutions.
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