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

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  • Marion Mercier

    (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of political leaders' migration experience on the quality of 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. We put forward a positive e ffect of the leader having studied abroad on the level of democracy in his country during his tenure. This e ffect 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 con rmed by various robustness tests. They propose a new channel through which migration may a ect politics in the sending countries, namely the emergence of the elites.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Mercier, 2013. "The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants make Better Leaders?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00907277, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00907277
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00907277
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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. Anca Turcu & R. Urbatsch, 2020. "Go Means Green: Diasporas’ Affinity for EcologicalGroups," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 20(1), pages 82-102, February.
    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. Naito, Takumi & Zhao, Laixun, 2020. "Capital accumulation through studying abroad and return migration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 185-196.
    5. Michele Valsecchi & Ruben Durante, 2020. "Internal migration and the spread of Covid-19," Working Papers w0276, New Economic School (NES).
    6. Julieta Peveri, 2021. "The Wise, the Politician and the Strongman: National Leaders' Type and Quality of Governance," AMSE Working Papers 2120, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France, revised May 2022.
    7. Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves & Ozden,Caglar, 2022. "Impacts of Temporary Migration on Development in Origin Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9996, The World Bank.
    8. Valsecchi, Michele & Durante, Ruben, 2021. "Internal migration networks and mortality in home communities: Evidence from Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    9. Minasyan, Anna, 2018. "US aid, US educated leaders and economic ideology," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 244-257.
    10. Thierry Baudassé & Rémi Bazillier & Ismaël Issifou, 2018. "Migration And Institutions: Exit And Voice (From Abroad)?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 727-766, July.
    11. Batista, Catia & Seither, Julia & Vicente, Pedro C., 2019. "Do migrant social networks shape political attitudes and behavior at home?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 328-343.
    12. Issifou, Ismael, 2017. "Can migration reduce civil conflicts as an antidote to rent-seeking?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 333-353.
    13. Catia Batista & Julia Seither & Pedro C. Vicente, 2017. "Migration, political institutions, and social networks," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1701, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
    14. Mounir Karadja & Erik Prawitz, 2019. "Exit, Voice, and Political Change: Evidence from Swedish Mass Migration to the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1864-1925.
    15. 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".
    16. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Khalifa, Sherif, 2020. "Leaders’ Foreign Travel and Democracy," MPRA Paper 105601, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Jan 2021.
    17. Elisabetta Lodigiani, 2016. "The effect of emigration on home-country political institutions," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 307-307, November.
    18. Makarin, Alexey & Piqué, Ricardo & Aragón, Fernando, 2020. "National or sub-national parties: Does party geographic scope matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    19. Julieta Peveri, 2021. "The Wise, the Politician and the Strongman: National Leaders' Type and Quality of Governance," Working Papers halshs-03173020, HAL.
    20. Ademmer, Esther & Akgüç, Mehtap & Barslund, Mikkel & Di Bartolomeo, Anna & Benček, David & Groll, Dominik & Hoxhaj, Rezart & Lanati, Mauro & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya & Lücke, Matthias & Ludolph, Lars & R, 2017. "2017 MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe. Sharing responsibility for refugees and expanding legal immigration," MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe, Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM), number 182239.
    21. Anna Abalkina & Alexander Libman, 2020. "The real costs of plagiarism: Russian governors, plagiarized PhD theses, and infrastructure in Russian regions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(3), pages 2793-2820, December.
    22. Björn NILSSON, 2019. "Education and migration: insights for policymakers," Working Paper 23ca9c54-061a-4d60-967c-f, Agence française de développement.
    23. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Khalifa, Sherif & Konso Mulali, Ben, 2020. "Who Becomes Minister in an Autocratic Regime? Evidence From DRC," MPRA Paper 103022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Erminia Florio, 2019. "Are We in The Same Boat? The Legacy of Historical Emigration on Attitudes towards Immigrants," CEIS Research Paper 478, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 12 Nov 2021.
    25. Yvonne Giesing & Felicitas Schikora, 2020. "Migrants' Missing Votes," CESifo Working Paper Series 8570, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political leaders; Migration; Democracy; Developing countries;
    All these keywords.

    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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