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Should they stay or should they go? Climate migrants and local conflicts

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  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Cristina Cattaneo
  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

There is extensive evidence that higher temperatures increase the probability of local conflict. There is also evidence that emigration represents an important margin of adaptation to a warming climate. In this article, we analyse whether migration influences the link between warming and conflicts by either attenuating this connection in countries of origin and/or by exacerbating it in countries of destination. We find that in countries where the propensity to emigrate—as measured by past diaspora—is higher, increases in temperature have smaller effects on the probability of armed conflict, compared to countries with lower migration propensity. This is consistent with emigration functioning as ‘escape valve’ for local tensions. We find no evidence that climate-induced migration increased the probability of conflict in receiving countries.

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  • Valentina Bosetti & Cristina Cattaneo & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "Should they stay or should they go? Climate migrants and local conflicts," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 619-651.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:21:y:2021:i:4:p:619-651.
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    2. Barbora Šedová & Lucia Čizmaziová & Athene Cook, 2021. "A meta-analysis of climate migration literature," CEPA Discussion Papers 29, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Federica Cappelli & Caterina Conigliani & Davide Consoli & Valeria Costantini & Elena Paglialunga, 2023. "Climate change and armed conflicts in Africa: temporal persistence, non-linear climate impact and geographical spillovers," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 40(2), pages 517-560, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; global warming; emigration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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