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Migration, political institutions, and social networks

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  • Catia Batista
  • Julia Seither
  • Pedro C. Vicente

Abstract

What is the role of international migrants and, more specifically, of migrant networks in shaping the quality of political institutions in migrant sending countries? Our theory proposes that migration might change individual social identities and in this way intrinsic motivation for political participation, while it may also improve knowledge about better quality political institutions. Hence, international migration might increase political awareness and participation both by migrants and by other individuals in their networks. To test this hypothesis, this paper uses several survey and behavioral measures related to political participation and electoral knowledge. These data were purposely collected around the time of the 2009 elections in Mozambique. The empirical results show that the number of migrants an individual is in close contact through regular chatting within a village significantly increase political participation of residents in that village – more so than family links to migrants. Our findings are consistent with both improved knowledge about political processes, and increased intrinsic motivation for political participation being transmitted through migrant networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Catia Batista & Julia Seither & Pedro C. Vicente, 2017. "Migration, political institutions, and social networks," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1701, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:novafr:wp1701
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    Cited by:

    1. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Khalifa, Sherif, 2020. "Leaders’ Foreign Travel and Democracy," MPRA Paper 105601, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Jan 2021.
    2. Minh Tran, Ngoc Thi & Cameron, Michael P. & Poot, Jacques, 2017. "International Migration and Institutional Quality in the Home Country: It Matters Where You Go and How Long You Stay!," IZA Discussion Papers 10945, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Tijan L. Bah, 2018. "Occupation-skill mismatch and selection of immigrants: Evidence from the Portuguese labor market," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1804, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    4. Catia Batista & Tara McIndoe-Calder & Pedro C. Vicente, 2017. "Return Migration, Self-selection and Entrepreneurship," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 797-821, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; social networks; political participation; information; effects of emigration in origin countries; sub-Saharan Africa; Mozambique;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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