Journal Article

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

Catia Batista and Pedro C. Vicente

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 77-104
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhr009
Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment

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  • International Factor Movements and International Business
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Can international migration promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability? A behavioral measure of the population's desire for better governance was designed to examine this question. A postcard was distributed to households promising that if enough postcards were mailed back, results from a survey module on perceived corruption would be published in the national media. Data from a tailored household survey were used to examine the determinants of this behavioral measure of demand for political accountability (undertaking the costly action of mailing the postcard) and to isolate the positive effect of international emigration using locality-level variation. The estimated effects are robust to the use of instrumental variables, including past migration and macro shocks in the destination countries. The estimated effects can be attributed mainly to migrants who emigrated to countries with better governance, especially migrants who return home.

Keywords: F22; O12; O15; O43; P16; international migration; governance; political accountability; institutions; effects of emigration in origin countries; household survey; Cape Verde; sub-Saharan Africa

Journal Article.  8472 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Factor Movements and International Business ; Economic Development ; Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity ; Capitalist Systems

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