Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Research Seminar Series (RSS)

Democracy and Foreign Education

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Center for Global Development and The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies co-hosted a Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS)* Democracy and Foreign Education featuring Antonio Spilimbergo, Research Department, International Monetary Fund. Raj Desai, Associate Professor of International Development, Georgetown University served as the discussant.

Paper abstract: Do foreign-educated individuals play a role in promoting democracy in their home countries? Despite the large amount of private and public resources spent on foreign education, there is no systematic evidence that foreign-educated individuals foster democracy in their home countries. Using a unique panel dataset on foreign students starting from 1950, I show that, indeed, foreign-educated individuals promote democracy in their home country, but only if the foreign education is acquired in democratic countries. The results are robust to reverse causality, country-specific omitted variables, and inclusion of a variety of control variables. The results are stronger for small countries.

*The Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS) series is an effort by the Center for Global Development and The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to take advantage of the incredible concentration of great international development scholars in the Metro Washington, DC area. The series seeks to bring together members of this community and improve communication between them.

Related Topics: