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Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Eric Strobl
  • Luisito Bertinelli
  • Salvador Barrios

Abstract

We investigate the role that climatic change has played in the pattern of urbanization in sub-Saharan countries compared to the rest of the developing world. To this end we assemble a cross-country panel data set that allows us to estimate the determinants of urbanization. The results of our econometric analysis suggest that climatic change, as proxied by rainfall, has acted to change urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa but not elsewhere in the developing world. Moreover, this link has become stronger since decolonization, which is likely due to the often simultaneous lifting of legislation prohibiting the free internal movement of native Africans.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers on International Economics and Finance with number 06-01.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdadef:06-01

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  1. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  3. Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
  4. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2003. "Dry times in Africa: Rainfall and Africa's growth performance," CORE Discussion Papers 2003061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K, 1990. "Analyzing Third World Urbanization: A Model with Empirical Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 587-610, April.
  9. Drechsel, Pay & Gyiele, Lucy & Kunze, Dagmar & Cofie, Olufunke, 2001. "Population density, soil nutrient depletion, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 251-258, August.
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