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Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration

  • Michel Beine
  • Christopher Parsons

We examine environmental factors as potential determinants of international migration. We distinguish between unexpected short-run factors, captured by natural disasters, as well as long-run climate change and climate variability. Building on a simple neo-classical model we use a panel dataset of bilateral migration flows for the period 1960-2000, the time and dyadic dimensions of which additionally allow us to control for numerous time-varying and time invariant factors. As a whole, we find little direct impact of climatic change on international migration in the medium to long run across our entire sample. Using the rate of urbanization as a proxy for internal migration we find strong evidence that natural disasters beget greater flows of migrants to urban environs.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3747.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3747
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  1. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2006. "Climatic change and rural-urban migration: the case of sub-Saharan Africa," CORE Discussion Papers 2006046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  9. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers 173, Center for Global Development.
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  11. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Evidence on the political economy of the urbanization process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 98-125, January.
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  14. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  15. Richard Black & Dominic Kniveton & Kerstin Schmidt-Verkerk, 2011. "Migration and climate change: towards an integrated assessment of sensitivity," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(2), pages 431-450, February.
  16. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
  17. Halliday, Timothy, 2006. "Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 893-925, July.
  18. Naude, Wim, 2008. "Conflict, Disasters, and No Jobs: Reasons for International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series RP2008/85, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  19. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
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