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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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    2. Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena & Katrin Millock, 2021. "Gendered migration responses to drought in Malawi," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-03325853, HAL.
    3. Barbora Šedová & Lucia Čizmaziová & Athene Cook, 2021. "A meta-analysis of climate migration literature," CEPA Discussion Papers 29, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. Isabelle Chort & Maëlys de La Rupelle, 2019. "Managing the Impact of Climate on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," Working papers of CATT hal-02938034, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. Els BEKEART & Ilse RUYSSEN & Sara SALOMONE, 2021. "Domestic and International Migration Intentions in Response to Environmental Stress: A Global Cross-country Analysis," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 383-436, September.
    7. Jesus Eduardo Robles Chavez, 2022. "Allocation of drought relief resources and its biased impact on agricultural production in Mexico," Sobre México. Revista de Economía, Sobre México. Temas en economía, vol. 3(6), pages 40-80.
    8. 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).
    9. Trong-Anh, TRINH & Simon FEENY & Alberto POSSO, 2021. "The Impact of Natural Disasters on Migration: Findings from Vietnam," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 479-510, September.
    10. Nathan Delacrétaz & Bruno Lanz & Amir Delju & Etienne Piguet & Martine Rebetez, 2021. "Impacts of rainfall shocks on out-migration are moderated more by per capita income than by agricultural output in Turkiye," IRENE Working Papers 21-06, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Simin Mehdipour & Nouzar Nakhaee & Farzaneh Zolala & Maryam Okhovati & Afsar Foroud & Ali Akbar Haghdoost, 2022. "A systematized review exploring the map of publications on the health impacts of drought," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 113(1), pages 35-62, August.
    12. Bhaskar Jyoti Neog, 2022. "Temperature shocks and rural labour markets: evidence from India," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 1-20, March.
    13. Gröger, André, 2021. "Easy come, easy go? Economic shocks, labor migration and the family left behind," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Luis G. BECERRA - VALBUENA & Katrin MILLOCK, 2021. "Gendered migration responses to drought in Malawi," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 437-477, September.
    17. Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena & Katrin Millock, 2021. "Gendered migration responses to drought in Malawi," Post-Print halshs-03325853, HAL.

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