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The return of the prodigy son: Do return migrants make better leaders?

Listed author(s):
  • Marion Mercier

    (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)

This paper describes the relationship between political leaders' migration experience and the evolution of democracy during their leadership. We build up an original database 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. These data reveal the existence of a positive correlation between the fact that leaders studied abroad and the change in the score of democracy in their country during their tenure, for leaders who reach power in initially autocratic settings. This correlation notably appears to be driven by leaders who studied in high-income OECD countries. The main finding, confirmed by various robustness tests, adds up to the recent literature on the effects of the characteristics of political leaders. It also suggests a new channel through which migration may shape development and politics in the sending countries — namely, the political elites.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-01511035.

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Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2016
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, 2016, 122, pp.76-91. <10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.04.005>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01511035
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.04.005
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01511035
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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