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We use a fixed effects panel data model to investigate the impact of institutions of governance on the educational attainment of immigrants to the United States over the period 1988 2000. Distinguishing between the quality and stability of political institutions in the countries of origin, we find that the two characteristics of institutional structure have conflicting impacts on the nature of brain drain. Immigrants from countries with a higher quality of political institutions tend to be better educated, on the average, than immigrants from countries with institutions of lower quality. However, immigrants from countries with greater political instability tend to be better educated than immigrants from countries with more stable governments.

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Aniruddha Mitra

James T. Bang

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