Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Leaders’ Foreign Travel and Democracy

Kodila-Tedika, Oasis and Khalifa, Sherif (2020): Leaders’ Foreign Travel and Democracy.


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This paper investigates whether the number of trips by a country's leader to the United States allows the country to adopt a more democratic system of governance and to embrace better democratic practices. To achieve its objective, the paper uses a novel variable that indicates the number of trips by a leader or a head of a government to the United States of America from 1960-2015. The baseline results show that the number of leaders’ trips to the United States has a statistically significant positive coefficient, which provides evidence that these foreign trips are positively associated with democratic governance. These results are robust even after the inclusion of several control variables identified by the literature as confounding factors of democracy, and after controlling for outliers.

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