The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
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.