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Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment

  • Catia Batista

    ()

    (Trinity College Dublin and IZA)

  • Pedro C. Vicente

    ()

    (Trinity College Dublin, University of Oxford - Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) and)

Can international migration promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability? In order to examine this question, we designed a behavioral measure of the population's desire for better governance. A postcard was distributed to households with the pledge that, if enough postcards were mailed back, results from a survey module on perceived corruption would be made public in the national media. Using data from a tailored household survey, we examine the determinants of our behavioral measure of demand for political accountability (i.e. of undertaking the costly action of mailing the postcard), and isolate the positive effect of international emigration using locality level variation. The estimated effects are robust to the use of instrumental variables, including both past migration and macro shocks in the migrant destination countries. We find that the estimated effects can be mainly attributed to those who emigrated to countries with better governance, especially return migrants.

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Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2011004.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2011004
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  2. Jan Fidrmuc & Orla Doyle, 2004. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behavior," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-714, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  5. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  6. Catia Batista & Tara McIndoe-Calder & Pedro C. Vicente, 2014. "Return Migration, Self-Selection and Entrepreneurship in Mozambique," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1401, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
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  18. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
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