International migration is an important determinant of institutions, not considered so far in the development literature. Using cross-sectional and panel estimation for a large sample of developing countries, we find that openness to emigration has a positive effect on home-country institutional development (as measured by standard democracy indices). The results are robust to a wide range of specifications and identification methods. Remarkably, the cross-sectional estimates are fully in line with the implied long-run relationship from dynamic panel regressions.
Docquier, F., Lodigiani, E., Rapoport, H. and Schiff, M. (2016). "Emigration and democracy", Journal of development Economics , 120, 209-223. (also Ferdi Working Paper P155, July 2016).