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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

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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    Cited by:

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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. Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2020. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and US Immigration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 250-277, April.
    4. Sedova, Barbora & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2020. "Who are the climate migrants and where do they go? Evidence from rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    5. Isabelle Chort & Maëlys de la Rupelle, 2021. "Managing the Impact of Climate on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," THEMA Working Papers 2021-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    6. Gröger, André, 2021. "Easy come, easy go? Economic shocks, labor migration and the family left behind," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    7. Marjorie C. Pajaron & Glacer Niño A. Vasquez, 2020. "Weathering the storm: weather shocks and international labor migration from the Philippines," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1419-1461, October.
    8. 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.

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