Natural Disasters and International Migration: A Gravity Perspective
AbstractDo natural disasters interplay with intensified international migration? Not only has the global migrant stock increased from 92 to 165 million between 1960 and 2000, but the frequency and magnitude of disasters have increased within the same period. In the face of exogenous shocks, migration is an important survival strategy. However, knowledge remains limited on the factors at work involving disasters as a cause of migration. The aim of this paper is to assess the extent to which disasters initiate bilateral migration. To underpin the empirical strategy, we construct a theoretical gravity model of bilateral migration introducing disasters as multiplicative shocks to the aggregated population. To test the implications empirically, we deploy a dataset of international migration stocks available for 10-year intervals from1960-2000 for a matrix of 158 countries. Estimations are conducted using a fixed effects gravity setup. Results suggest that disasters are on average positively associated with migration out of affected areas, but negatively for migration into affected countries. Findings are crucially conditioned on geographic country characteristics. In addition,we decompose disasters into sub-categories to show that particularly climate-related disasters act as a push factor for international migration, while results on geological disasters are ambiguous and indicate adaption rather than migration into countries susceptible to geological events. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 66058.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
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