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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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    1. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2006. "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 06-01, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    2. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
    3. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers 173, Center for Global Development.
    4. 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.
    5. Luca MARCHIORI & Jean-François MAYSTADT & Ingmar SCHUMACHER, 2011. "The Impact of Weather Anomalies on Migration in sub-Saharan Africa," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011034, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Timothy Hatton & Jeffery Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 458, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. James E. Anderson, 2010. "The Gravity Model," NBER Working Papers 16576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Caglar Ozden & Christopher R. Parsons & Maurice Schiff & Terrie L. Walmsley, 2011. "Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960-2000," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 12-56, May.
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    13. Deschenes, Olivier & Greenstone, Michael, 2006. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Output and Random Fluctuations in Weather," Working paper 291, Regulation2point0.
    14. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Valerie Mueller & Daniel Osgood, 2009. "Long-term Impacts of Droughts on Labour Markets in Developing Countries: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1651-1662.
    18. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
    19. 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.
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