Are human rights and economic well-being substitutes? Evidence from migration patterns across the Indian states
The aim of the paper is to study the relation between the demand for human rights and for economic prosperity. It analyzes the demand not, as it is often done in the literature, from the 'voice' perspective (political activity), but rather looks at the 'exit' perspective (migration patterns). Given the difficulties associated with identification in international samples we study the intra-national migration in a federation with significant economic and political differences between states - India. The paper finds that quality of human rights protection and economic well-being are substitutes when determining the patterns of migration: lower number of human rights violations acts as a 'pull' factor for individual states only if the income per capita is small enough; increasing economic well-being political regimes seem to be able to 'buy acceptance' of the lower quality of human rights. The results are robust to various specifications and estimation approaches.
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