Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We are the world

We are all citizens of the world and cosmopolitanism beats nationalism.  People who agree will enjoy this study.  Here is the abstract Antonio Spilimbergo's "Democracy and Foreign Education" (gated; in the March 2009 American Economic Review):
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 in the 1950s, I show that 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 several estimation techniques, to different definitions of democracy, 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.
This is very nice.  I have always cherished my international students.  They bring human capital with them and they take human capital back to their home country.  But, apart from the clear market benefits, there are also civil society benefits.  The cited study also shows that whatever the international students may pick up at Moscow's Patrice Lumumba U. (renamed People's Friendship U.), it has a much smaller effect once they return home.