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Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration

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  • Michel BEINE

    ()
    (University of Luxembourg, UCL-IRES and CES-Ifo)

  • Christopher PARSONS

    (University of Nottingham, UK)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine environmental factors as potential determinants of international migration. We distinguish between unexpected short-run factors, captured by natural disasters, as well as long-run climate change and climate variability captured by deviations and volatilities of temperatures and rainfall from and around their long-run averages. We start from a simple neo-classical model, which is augmented to include environmental factors at origin in the form of amenities. We then test the model using a panel dataset of bilateral migration flows for the period 1960-2000, the time and dyadic dimensions of which additionally allow us to control for numerous time-varying and time invariant factors. Using our primary specification, having accounted for other well documented determinants of migration, we find no direct impact of climatic change on international migration in the medium to long run across our entire sample. These results are robust when further considering migrants returning home. Conditioning our regressions upon origin country characteristics, we find evidence that shortfalls in precipitation constrain migration to developing countries from those which rely more heavily upon agriculture and spur movements to developing countries from those with fewer groundwater reserves. We further use the rate of urbanization as a proxy for internal migration and find strong evidence that natural disasters beget greater flows of migrants to urban environs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2012002.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 12 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2012002

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Keywords: International Migration; Climate change; Natural disasters; Income Maximization;

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References

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  1. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 18-29, May.
  2. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
  3. Eric Strobl & Luisito Bertinelli & Salvador Barrios, . "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 06-01, FEDEA.
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  6. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Özden, Çaglar, 2011. "Diasporas," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 30-41, May.
  7. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  10. Timothy Halliday, 2005. "Migration, Risk and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Working Papers 200511, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics, revised 28 Mar 2006.
  11. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2011. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  12. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Evidence on the political economy of the urbanization process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 98-125, January.
  13. Richard Black & Dominic Kniveton & Kerstin Schmidt-Verkerk, 2011. "Migration and climate change: towards an integrated assessment of sensitivity," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(2), pages 431-450, February.
  14. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," NBER Working Papers 14680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Naude, Wim, 2008. "Conflict, Disasters, and No Jobs: Reasons for International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series RP2008/85, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  16. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  18. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ruohong Cai & Shuaizhang Feng & Mariola Pytliková & Michael Oppenheimer, 2014. "Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1418, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Luca Marchiori & Jean-Francois Maystadt & Ingmar Schumacher, 2013. "Is environmentally-induced income variability a driver of migration? A macroeconomic perspective," Working Papers 2013-017, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  3. Michel Beine & Pauline Bourgeon & Jean-Charles Bricongne, 2013. "Aggregate Fluctuations and International Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 4379, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Spring, Eva & Grossmann, Volker, 2013. "Does Bilateral Trust Affect International Movement of Goods and Labor?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79956, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2013. "Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00825807, HAL.
  6. repec:ipg:wpaper:17 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Michel Beine & Simone Bertoli & Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2014. "A practitioners' guide to gravity models of international migration," Working Papers 2014-03, FEDEA.
  8. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2012. "Visa Policies, Networks and the Cliff at the Border," Working Papers 2012-12, FEDEA.
  9. Wodon, Quentin & Burger, Nicholas & Grant, Audra & Liverani, Andrea, 2014. "Climate Change, Migration, and Adaptation in the MENA Region," MPRA Paper 56927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Michel Beine, 2013. "The Network Effect in International Migration," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 41-47, 04.
  11. Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2013. "Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13045, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  12. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 8089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Gröschl, Jasmin, 2012. "Climate Change and the Relocation of Population," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66058, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  14. Fausto Galli & Giuseppe Russo, 2013. "Immigration Restriction and Long-Run Cultural Assimilation: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," CSEF Working Papers 349, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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