On the relationship between corruption and migration: empirical evidence from a gravity model of migration

Poprawe, Marie

In: Public Choice, 2015, vol. 163, no. 3-4, p. 337-354

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    This paper shows the relationship between corruption and migration. In particular, countries with much corruption are shown to encourage emigration and discourage immigration because they provide worse and unpredictable economic conditions, more insecurity, and a lower quality of life. This hypothesis is confirmed empirically with a cross-sectional dataset with bilateral migration data covering 230 countries. Well-known implications of the gravity model are confirmed here: larger populations, a common language and a common border increase migration, while distance between two countries decreases migration. Furthermore, education, GDP per capita, inflation in the destination country, as well as corruption and education in the origin country can robustly explain migration. Corruption thus appears to be a push factor of migration.