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The Migration Response to Increasing Temperatures

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  • Cattaneo, Cristina
  • Peri, Giovanni

Abstract

Climate change, especially the warming trend experienced by several countries, could affect agricultural productivity. As a consequence, rural incomes will change, and with them the incentives for people to remain in rural areas. Using data from 116 countries between 1960 and 2000, we analyze the effect of differential warming trends across countries on the probability of either migrating out of the country or from rural to urban areas. We find that higher temperatures increased migration rates to urban areas and other countries in middle income economies. In poor countries, higher temperatures reduced the probability of migration to cities or to other countries, consistent with the presence of severe liquidity constraints. In middle-income countries, migration represents an important margin of adjustment to global warming, potentially contributing to structural change and even increasing income per worker. Such a mechanism, however, does not seem to work in poor economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Cattaneo, Cristina & Peri, Giovanni, 2016. "The Migration Response to Increasing Temperatures," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 230595, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemcl:230595
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.230595
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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