Global migration and political regime type: A democratic disadvantage

Christian Breunig, Cao Xun, Adam Luedtke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


An indicator of globalization is the growing number of humans crossing national borders. In contrast to explanations for flows of goods and capital, migration research has concentrated on unilateral movements to rich democracies. This focus ignores the bilateral determinants of migration and stymies empirical and theoretical inquiry. The theoretical insights proposed here show how the regime type of both sending and receiving countries influences human migration. Specifically, democratic regimes accommodate fewer immigrants than autocracies and democracies enable emigration while autocracies prevent exit. The mechanisms for this divergence are a function of both micro-level motivations of migrants and institutional constraints on political leaders. Global bilateral migration data and a statistical method that captures the higher-order dependencies in network data are employed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-854
Number of pages30
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Global migration and political regime type: A democratic disadvantage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this