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

Maty Konte

#2015-008

We examine the effect of remittances on the legitimacy of democracy in Africa, testing whether remittance recipients are less likely to support democracy than are non-recipients. We hypothesise that the effect of remittances on support for democracy varies across groups of individuals sharing similar but unobserved background characteristics. Using the Afrobarometer surveys, we try to find out whether the respondents fall into different hidden clusters in such a way that the effect of remittances on the degree of support for democracy depends on the cluster. Our results support that remittances may be a curse for the degree of endorsement and support for democracy depending on the cluster of individuals that we consider. The analysis of the probability of being in the remittance curse cluster indicates that the perception of national priorities plays an important role. Indeed, people who attest that freedom and rights are the main national priorities have a lower probability of belonging to the remittances curse cluster than individuals who choose national priorities that are oriented towards the economic conditions of their country.

Key words: Migrant Remittances; Support for democracy; Multilevel Mixture-regressions

JEL Classification: D01; F24; O55