Corruption Exposure, Political Trust, and Immigrants
Talk by Anastasia Litina (University of Macedonia) as part of the Research Seminar Series of the IOS Economics Department.
Using large-scale survey data covering 38 countries and exploiting origin-country variation across cohorts and surveys, we show that immigrants exposed to institutional corruption before migrating exhibit higher levels of political trust in their new country. Higher trust is observed for national political institutions only and does not carry over to other supra-national institutions and individuals. We report evidence that higher levels of political trust among immigrants persist, leading to greater electoral participation and political engagement in the long run. The impact of home-country corruption on political trust in the destination country is further amplified by large differences in income and democracy levels between the two countries. However, the effect is lessened by exposure to media providing independent information about institutional performance in the destination country. Finally, our extensive analyses indicate that self-selection into host countries based on trust is highly unlikely and the results also hold when focusing only on forced migrants who were unlikely to have been subject to selection.