Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

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

Catia Batista and Pedro C. Vicente, Department of Economics and Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin.


This paper tests the hypothesis that international migration experiences may promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability. In order to examine this question, we use a simple postcard voting experiment designed to capture the population’s desire for better governance. Using data from a tailored household survey, we examine the determinants of voting behavior in our experiment, and isolate the positive effect of international emigration on the demand for political accountability. We find that this effect can be mainly attributed to the presence of return migrants, particularly to those who emigrated to countries with better governance.

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

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).