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Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration

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  • Michel Beine

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

  • Christopher Parsons

    (University of Nottingham, UK)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine environmental factors as potential determinants of inter- national 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 us- ing 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 precip- itation 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 Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 12-01.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:12-01

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

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  1. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2009. "The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest : evidence from the Pacific," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4965, The World Bank.
  2. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  3. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, Eric, 2006. "Climatic change and rural-urban migration: The case of sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 357-371, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "Globalization, Brain Drain and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 5590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  9. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Ozden, Caglar, 2009. "Diasporas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4984, The World Bank.
  10. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2008. "The Erosion of Colonial Trade Linkages After Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, 09.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cai, Ruohong & Feng, Shuaizhang & Pytlikova, Mariola & Oppenheimer, Michael, 2014. "Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage," IZA Discussion Papers 8183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spring, Eva & Grossmann, Volker, 2013. "Does Bilateral Trust Affect International Movement of Goods and Labor?," FSES Working Papers 442, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  5. Beine, M. & Bricongne,J-C. & Bourgeon, P., 2013. "Aggregate Fluctuations and International Migration," Working papers 453, Banque de France.
  6. Michel Beine & Simone Bertoli & Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2014. "A practitioners' guide to gravity models of international migration," Working Papers 2014-03, FEDEA.
  7. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2012. "Visa Policies, Networks and the Cliff at the Border," Working Papers 2012-12, FEDEA.
  8. repec:ipg:wpaper:17 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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