IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does temporary migration from rich to poor countries cause commitment to development? Evidence from quasi-random Mormon mission assignments


  • Crawfurd, Lee


Public support in rich countries for global development is critical for sustaining effective government and individual action But the causes of public support are not well understood. Temporary migration to developing countries might play a role in generating individual commitment to development, but finding exogenous variation in travel with which to identify causal effects is rare. In this paper we address this question using a natural experiment – the assignment of Mormon missionaries to two-year missions in different world regions – and test whether the attitudes and activities of returned missionaries differ. I find that assignment to a region in the global South causes returned missionaries to report greater interest in global development and poverty, but no difference in support for government aid or higher immigration, and no difference in personal donations or other involvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Crawfurd, Lee, 2019. "Does temporary migration from rich to poor countries cause commitment to development? Evidence from quasi-random Mormon mission assignments," SocArXiv 3hwga, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:3hwga
    DOI: 10.31219/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helen V. Milner & Dustin Tingley, 2013. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid: A Review Essay," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 389-401, July.
    2. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2018. "The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Evidence from Africa and Implications for Development," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Heinrich, Tobias & Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Bryant, Kristin A., 2016. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid Cuts in Economic Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 66-79.
    4. Tingley, Dustin, 2010. "Donors and domestic politics: Political influences on foreign aid effort," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 40-49, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Thilo Bodenstein & Jörg Faust, 2017. "Who Cares? European Public Opinion on Foreign Aid and Political Conditionality," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 955-973, September.
    2. Fuchs, Andreas & Müller, Angelika, 2018. "Democracy and aid donorship," Kiel Working Papers 2113, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Simplice A. Asongu & Joseph Nnanna, 2019. "Foreign aid, instability and governance in Africa," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 19/022, African Governance and Development Institute..
    4. Linda Alvarez & Constantine Boussalis & Jennifer L. Merolla & Caryn A. Peiffer, 2018. "Love thy neighbour: Social identity and public support for humanitarian aid," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 36(S2), pages 935-953, September.
    5. Terence Wood, 2018. "Aid Policy and Australian Public Opinion," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 235-248, May.
    6. Beletskaya, M., 2019. "Bilateral International Assistance: Factors for Donor Countries," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 43(3), pages 95-114.
    7. Jonathan Pickering & Paul Mitchell, 2017. "What drives national support for multilateral climate finance? International and domestic influences on Australia’s shifting stance," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 107-125, February.
    8. Andrew Abbott & Philip Jones, 2021. "The cyclicality of government foreign-aid expenditure: voter awareness in “good” times and in “bad”," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(1), pages 97-117, January.
    9. Emmanuelle Auriol & Josepa Miquel-Florensa, 2019. "Taxing fragmented aid to improve aid efficiency," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 453-477, September.
    10. Aurore Gary & Mathilde Maurel, 2015. "Donors’ Policy Consistency and Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 511-551, November.
    11. Becker, Sascha O. & Won, Cheongyeon, 2021. "Jesus speaks Korean: Christianity and Literacy in Colonial Korea," CEPR Discussion Papers 15640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Becker, Sascha O. & Rubin, Jared & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Religion in Economic History: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 14894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Eichenauer, Vera Z. & Fuchs, Andreas & Brueckner, Lutz, 2018. "The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries," Working Papers 0646, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    14. Juan David Gómez-Quintero & Pilar Gargallo Valero & Jesús Miguel Álvarez, 2019. "Who Supports International Development Cooperation in Times of Crisis? Public Opinion in Rural Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-17, April.
    15. Meier zu Selhausen, Felix, 2019. "Missions, Education and Conversion in Colonial Africa," African Economic History Working Paper 48/2019, African Economic History Network.
    16. Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Heinrich, Tobias & Bryant, Kristin A., 2021. "Public support for development aid during the COVID-19 pandemic," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    17. Alberto Alesina & Sebastian Hohmann & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2021. "Intergenerational Mobility in Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(1), pages 1-35, January.
    18. Era Dabla-Norris & Camelia Minoiu & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2010. "Business Cycle Fluctuations, Large Shocks, and Development Aid; New Evidence," IMF Working Papers 2010/240, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Leone Walters & Carolyn Chisadza & Matthew W. Clance, 2020. "The Effect of Colonial and Pre-Colonial Institutions on Contemporary Education in Africa," Working Papers 2020102, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    20. Fabrizio Carmignani & Grace Lordan & KK Tang, 2010. "Does aid for HIV respond to media pressure?," Discussion Papers Series 414, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:3hwga. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (OSF). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.