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Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration

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  • Michel BEINE

    (Université du Luxembourg)

  • Christopher PARSONS

    (FERDI)

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    Abstract

    We examine environmental change as a potential determinant 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. Starting from a simple neo-classical model we use a panel dataset of bilateral migration flows for the period 1960-2000 that allows us to control for numerous time-varying and time invariant factors. We find no direct impact of climatic change on international migration across our entire sample. These results are robust when conditioning on characteristics of origin countries as well as when further considering migrants returning home and the potential endogeneity of our network variable. In contrast, there is evidence of indirect effects of environmental factors going through wages. We further find strong evidence that natural disasters beget greater flows of migrants to urban environs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by FERDI in its series Working Papers with number P87.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:fdi:wpaper:1341

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    2. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2006. "Climatic change and rural-urban migration: the case of sub-Saharan Africa," CORE Discussion Papers 2006046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1108, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. 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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    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," IZA Discussion Papers 3926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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