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Facing The Hungry Tide: Climate Change, Livelihood Threats, And Household Responses In Coastal Bangladesh

Author

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  • SUSMITA DASGUPTA

    (#x2020;Development Research Group, World Bank, 1818 H Street, Washington DC 20433, USA)

  • MD. MOQBUL HOSSAIN

    (#x2021;Soil Research Development Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrittika Bhaban, Krishi Khamar Sarak, Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh)

  • MAINUL HUQ

    (#xA7;World Bank, E-32 Agargaon Shen-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh)

  • DAVID WHEELER

    (#xB6;World Resources Institute, 10 G Street, NE, Washington DC 200002, USA)

Abstract

This paper quantifies the impacts of inundation risk and soil salinization on the family structure and income of coastal households in Bangladesh. The analysis is based on a household decision model that relates spatial deployment of working-age, migration-capable members to inundation and salinization threats. The empirical analysis uses appropriate estimation techniques, including adjustments for spatial autocorrelation. The findings are consistent with a model that treats urban migration of working-age family members as both an income source and the only feasible form of disaster insurance for coastal households. Greater inundation risk unambiguously decreases the rural household share of working-age members, while the direction of the salinity effect depends on households’ income elasticity of demand for disaster insurance. The econometric results suggest that this elasticity is significantly greater than one, yielding higher rural household shares of working-age members in areas with higher salinity (ceteris paribus). Both increased inundation risk and greater salinity increase the incidence of extreme poverty among coastal households. However, powerful poverty reduction results for market access indicate that road improvements would provide an important countervailing force. The benefits of increased market access for coastal households are present with or without inundation and salinization threats, making such investments an attractive no-regret option.

Suggested Citation

  • Susmita Dasgupta & Md. Moqbul Hossain & Mainul Huq & David Wheeler, 2016. "Facing The Hungry Tide: Climate Change, Livelihood Threats, And Household Responses In Coastal Bangladesh," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-25, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:ccexxx:v:07:y:2016:i:03:n:s201000781650007x
    DOI: 10.1142/S201000781650007X
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    1. Dasgupta, Susmita & Huq, Mainul & Mustafa, Md. Golam & Sobhan, Md. Istiak & Wheeler, David, 2017. "The Impact of Aquatic Salinization on Fish Habitats and Poor Communities in a Changing Climate: Evidence from Southwest Coastal Bangladesh," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 128-139.
    2. Dasgupta,Susmita & Huq,Mainul & Mustafa,Md. Golam & Sobhan,Md Istiak & Wheeler,David R., 2016. "Impact of climate change and aquatic salinization on fish habitats and poor communities in southwest coastal Bangladesh and Bangladesh Sundarbans," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7593, The World Bank.
    3. Kuhnt, Jana, 2019. "Literature review: drivers of migration. Why do people leave their homes? Is there an easy answer? A structured overview of migratory determinants," IDOS Discussion Papers 9/2019, German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS).
    4. Dasgupta, Susmita & Wheeler, David & Bandyopadhyay, Sunando & Ghosh, Santadas & Roy, Utpal, 2022. "Coastal dilemma: Climate change, public assistance and population displacement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).

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