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Emigration and the quality of home country institutions

Author

Listed:
  • 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 dAgliano)

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010035
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    File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2010035.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Castelló-Climent, Amparo, 2008. "On the distribution of education and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 179-190, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blaise Gnimassoun & C. John Anyanwu, 2018. "The Diaspora And Economic Development In Africa," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-16, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    2. Catia Batista & Pedro C. Vicente, 2011. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 77-104, May.
    3. Arusha Cooray & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Does corruption promote emigration? An empirical examination," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 293-310, January.
    4. Jean Louis Combes & Christian Ebeke & Mathilde Maurel, 2015. "The effect of remittances prior to an election," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(38), pages 4074-4089, August.
    5. Jean-Louis Combes & Christian Hubert Ebeke & Mathilde Maurel, 2013. "The effect of remittances prior to an election," Working Papers halshs-00826999, HAL.
    6. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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