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

  • Batista, Catia
  • Vicente, Pedro C

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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8202
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  1. 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.
  2. Javorcik, Beata S. & Ozden, Caglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2006. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4046, The World Bank.
  3. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 9766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2011. "Family Ties And Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 817-839, October.
  7. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2012. "Testing the ‘brain gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 32-45.
  8. 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.
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  10. Catia Batista & Tara McIndoe-Calder & Pedro C. Vicente, 2014. "Return Migration, Self-Selection and Entrepreneurship in Mozambique," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1401, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
  11. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," Working Papers 2002-08, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
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  13. 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).
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2014. "Family Ties," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 177-215 Elsevier.
  15. 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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  17. 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.
  18. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  19. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
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