When Leaders Have Studied In Foreign Countries, The Foreign Countries Haven’t Really Benefited

December 5, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

The United States, Great Britain, and France attract the world’s international elite to their schools. Some of these individuals then return to become political leaders in their home countries. Axel Dreher and Shu Yu looked at what this meant for their former host countries:

  • Those that go abroad usually do so because they already share some of the values of the country they’re going to.
  • While there they further absorb it. This effect should mean that when they return to lead their own countries they’re more kindly disposed to their old host country.
  • However, they also have to demonstrate that their allegiance is to their home country, and not to the country that helped educate them.
  • The evidence indicates that what ultimately happens is leaders educated abroad are less friendly to the country that hosted them, but more friendly to countries that share similar values – as the optics of favouring those countries aren’t as bad.

Read the full discussion on VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal.