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Population displacement and urban conflict: Global evidence from more than 3300 flood events

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  • Castells-Quintana, David
  • Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar
  • McDermott, Thomas K.J.

Abstract

In this paper, we study the effect of displacement of population into cities on urban conflict in developing countries. To do so, we construct a novel measure of exposure to floods, using data on more than 3300 flood events worldwide, as an exogenous source of population displacement. We combine this with city level observations of thousands of urban social disorder events over the period 1985–2015. Exposure to floods is found to be associated with higher intensity of urban social disorder. Our evidence suggests that the effects of floods on urban disorder occur in part through the displacement of population into large cities. Exploring the information on urban disorder events in more detail, we find that the association between city growth and urban disorder is strongest for events related to public service provision, prices and wages.

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  • Castells-Quintana, David & Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & McDermott, Thomas K.J., 2022. "Population displacement and urban conflict: Global evidence from more than 3300 flood events," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:158:y:2022:i:c:s0304387822000797
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2022.102922
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    4. Richard Freund, 2023. "From drought to distress: unpacking the mental health effects of water scarcity," CSAE Working Paper Series 2023-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Floods; Displacement; Cities; Conflict; Social disorder;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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