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Migration, political institutions, and social networks

Catia Batista (), Julia Seither and Pedro Vicente ()

NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA

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. JEL codes: D72, F22, O15

Keywords: International migration; social networks; political participation; information; effects of emigration in origin countries; sub-Saharan Africa; Mozambique (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-int, nep-mig, nep-pol, nep-soc and nep-ure
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: Migration, Political Institutions, and Social Networks (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Migration, Political Institutions, and Social Networks (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unl:novafr:wp1701

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