Does emigration affect political and institutional development in migrants' countries of origin?

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Recent literature suggests that emigration can affect political and institutional outcomes (voting in elections, government accountability, voting for pro-democratic parties, prevalence of democracy, involvement in and tolerance of corrupt exchanges etc.) in the migrants' countries of origin. This chapter outlines the conceptual channels through which emigration may affect institutional quality back home, highlighting Hirschman's model of 'Exit and Voice', Levitt's 'Social Remittances' hypothesis, and explanations related to the receipt of monetary remittances. It then reviews the growing empirical literature on the question. A common finding emerging from empirical analyses is that migrants going to countries with better governance are more likely to have a positive effect on the institutional quality back home. The chapter concludes by identifying gaps and suggesting directions for future research.




Ivlevs, A. (2021). Does emigration affect political and institutional development in migrants’ countries of origin? In The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics (pp. 761–783). Springer.

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