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

Listed author(s):
  • Marion Mercier

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]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:5611.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:5611
Note: Institutional Papers
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  1. Elisabetta Lodigiani & Sara Salomone, 2012. "Migration-induced Transfers of Norms. The Case of Female Political Empowerment," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_058, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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  8. Franck, Raphaël & Rainer, Ilia, 2012. "Does the Leader's Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education, and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(02), pages 294-325, May.
  9. 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.
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  19. 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.
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  21. 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".
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  25. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
  26. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
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