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Droughts augment youth migration in Northern Latin America and the Caribbean

Author

Listed:
  • Javier Baez

    (World Bank)

  • German Caruso

    (World Bank)

  • Valerie Mueller

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute)

  • Chiyu Niu

    (University of Illinois)

Abstract

Abstract While evidence on the linkages between migration and climate is starting to emerge, the subject remains largely under-researched at regional scale. Knowledge on the matter is particularly important for Northern Latin America and the Caribbean, a region of the world characterized by exceptionally high migration rates and substantial exposure to natural hazards. We link individual-level information from multiple censuses for eight countries in the region with natural disaster indicators constructed from georeferenced climate data at the province level to measure the impact of droughts and hurricanes on internal mobility. We find that younger individuals are more likely to migrate in response to these disasters, especially when confronted with droughts. Youth exhibit a stronger inclination towards relocating to rural and small town settings, motivated possibly by opportunities for nearby off-farm employment and financing limitations for urban transport and living expenses. Migration decisions are mediated by national institutional arrangements. These findings highlight the importance of social protection and regional planning policies to reduce the vulnerability of youth to droughts in the future and secure their economic integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Baez & German Caruso & Valerie Mueller & Chiyu Niu, 2017. "Droughts augment youth migration in Northern Latin America and the Caribbean," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 423-435, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:140:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-016-1863-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1863-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chort, Isabelle & de la Rupelle, Maëlys, 2019. "Managing the Impact of Climate on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 12227, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2017. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and U.S. Immigration," Working Papers 17-50, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Desbureaux, Sébastien & Rodella, Aude-Sophie, 2019. "Drought in the city: The economic impact of water scarcity in Latin American metropolitan areas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 13-27.
    4. André Gröger, 2019. "Easy Come, Easy Go? Economic Shocks, Labor Migration and the Family Left Behind," Working Papers 1086, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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