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The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants Make Better Leaders?

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  • Marion Mercier

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of political leaders’ migration experience on the quality of their leadership. A database is constructed on the personal background of 932 politicians who were at the head of the executive power in a developing country over the 1960-2004 period. A positive effect of the leader having studied abroad on the level of democracy in his country during his tenure is put forwarded. This effect is shown to be independent from the leader’s education level, as well as from his profession. Moreover, it is mainly driven by countries with a poor initial level of democracy. These results are confirmed by various robustness tests. They propose a new channel through which migration may affect politics in the sending countries, namely the emergence of the elites. [IZA Discussion Paper No. 7780]

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Mercier, 2013. "The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants Make Better Leaders?," Working Papers id:5611, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:5611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael A. Clemens, 2016. "Losing our minds? New research directions on skilled emigration and development," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1227-1248, October.
    2. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:333-353 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chauvet, Lisa & Mercier, Marion, 2014. "Do return migrants transfer political norms to their origin country? Evidence from Mali," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 630-651.
    4. Elisabetta Lodigiani & Sara Salomone, 2015. "Migration-induced Transfers of Norms. Political Empowerment?The case of Female Political Empowerment," Working Papers 2015:19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    5. Elisabetta Lodigiani, 2016. "The effect of emigration on home-country political institutions," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 307-307, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migrants; profession; migration; politics; leadership; politicians; leader; developing countries; Asia; Africa; Iraq;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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