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Bank/Fund Joint Seminar Paper

Democracy and Foreign Education
Antonio Spilimbergo(IMF, CEPR, WDI)

Thursday, Oct 18, 12:30 - 2:00 pm, room MC9-100

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, the author shows that foreign-educated individuals promote democracy in their home country, but only if the foreign education is acquired in democratic countries. Instrumental variables exclude reverse causality and/or omitted variables. The results are robust to several estimation techniques and to the inclusion of a variety of control variables, including democracy in trading partners, neighboring countries, level of income, and level and stock of education.

 Do Interest Groups Affect Immigration
Prachi Mishra (IMF)
jointly written with Giovanni Facchini (University of Essex) and
Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University)

Thursday, Dec. 20, 12:30-2:00 pm, room MC8-100

While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration, there is no systematic empirical evidence on this issue. To motivate their analysis, the authors develop a simple theoretical model where migration policy is the result of the interaction between organized groups with conflicting interests towards labor flows. The authors evaluate the key predictions of the model using a new, industry-level dataset from the United States that the authors construct by combining information on the total number of immigrants and H1B visas with data on lobbying expenditures associated with immigration. The authors find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business lobbies incur larger lobbying expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.


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