The effects of remittances on support for democracy in Africa: Are remittances a curse or a blessing?

M. Konte*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We examine the effect of remittances on the legitimacy of democracy in Africa, testing whether remittance recipients are less likely to support democracy than non-recipients. We hypothesize that the effect of remittances on support for democracy varies across classes (i.e., groups or subtypes) of individuals sharing similar but unobserved background characteristics. Using the Afrobarometer surveys, we try to find out whether the respondents fall into different hidden classes in such a way that the effect of remittances on the degree of support for democracy depends on the class. Our results support that remittances may be a curse for the degree of endorsement and support for democracy, depending on the class of individuals that we consider. The analysis of the probability of being in the remittance curse class indicates that the perception of national priorities plays an important role. People who attest that freedom and rights are the main national priorities have a lower probability of belonging to the remittances curse class than individuals who choose national priorities that are oriented towards the economic conditions of their country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1022
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Comparative Economics
Issue number4
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

JEL classifications

  • f24 - Remittances
  • i30 - Welfare and Poverty: General
  • o10 - Economic Development: General


  • Migrant remittances
  • Multilevel mixture-regressions
  • Support for democracy

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