Does Working Abroad Affect Political Opinions? Evidence from Moldova

LICOS Discussion Paper Series, Discussion Paper 383/2016

42 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016  

Ruxanda Berlinschi

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance,

Date Written: August 9, 2016

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of work experience abroad on political opinions using survey data from Moldova, a former soviet republic caught in an ideological battle between Russia and the West, with high emigration rates to both destinations. Contrarily to studies conducted in Africa or Latin America, we find no effect of past migration on democratic participation or on critical governance assessment. Likewise, no effect is found on domestic policy preferences. The one dimension strongly associated with migration experience is geopolitical preference, whereby return migrants from former Soviet countries are more likely to support closer ties with Russia, while return migrants from Western countries show higher support for EU integration, controlling for economic, demographic and ethnic confounding factors. For identification, we instrument individual migration with district level migrant networks. IV regressions show that only work experience in Western countries affects geopolitical preferences.

Keywords: return migration, political opinions, Moldova, survey data

JEL Classification: P3, J61, D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Berlinschi, Ruxanda, Does Working Abroad Affect Political Opinions? Evidence from Moldova (August 9, 2016). LICOS Discussion Paper Series, Discussion Paper 383/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2877119

Ruxanda Berlinschi (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

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