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Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage

Author

Listed:
  • Ruohong Cai

    () (Princeton University)

  • Shuaizhang Feng

    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, , Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Mariola Pytliková

    () (VSB-Technical University Ostrava, KORA, The Danish Institute of Local Governmental Research)

  • Michael Oppenheimer

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

While there is considerable interest in understanding the climate-migration relationship, particularly in the context of concerns about global climatic change, little is known about underlying mechanisms. We analyze a unique and extensive set of panel data characterizing annual bilateral international migration flows from 163 origin countries to 42 OECD destination countries covering the last three decades. We find a positive and statistically significant relationship between temperature and international outmigration only in the most agriculture-dependent countries, consistent with the widely-documented adverse impact of temperature on agricultural productivity. In addition, migration flows to current major destinations are especially temperature-sensitive. Policies to address issues related to climate-induced international migration would be more effective if focused on the agriculture-dependent countries and especially people in those countries whose livelihoods depend on agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruohong Cai & Shuaizhang Feng & Mariola Pytliková & Michael Oppenheimer, 2014. "Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1418, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1418
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Lionel Jeusette, 2018. "A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on Climate Change and Migration," CREA Discussion Paper Series 18-05, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. repec:uwp:landec:v:93:y:2017:i:4:p:631-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chort, Isabelle & de la Rupelle, Maëlys, 2017. "Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," GLO Discussion Paper Series 78, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Cattaneo, Cristina & Peri, Giovanni, 2016. "The migration response to increasing temperatures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 127-146.
    5. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    6. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:560-594. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Martin Kahanec & Mariola Pytliková, 2017. "The economic impact of east–west migration on the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 407-434, August.
    8. Valentina Bosetti & Cristina Cattaneo & Giovanni Peri, 2018. "Should they stay or should they go? Climate Migrants and Local Conflicts," NBER Working Papers 24447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:500-528. is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chiara Falco & Marzio Galeotti & Alessandro Olper, 2018. "Climate change and Migration: Is Agriculture the Main Channel?," IEFE Working Papers 100, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    11. Linguère Mously Mbaye, 2017. "Climate change, natural disasters, and migration," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 346-346, March.
    12. Arthur Grimes & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2018. "Moving towards happiness," Working Papers 18_07, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    13. Dale T. Manning & Christopher Goemans & Alexander Maas, 2017. "Producer Responses to Surface Water Availability and Implications for Climate Change Adaptation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 93(4), pages 631-653.
    14. Cristina Cattaneo & Valentina Bosetti, 2017. "Climate-induced International Migration and Conflicts," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(4), pages 500-528.
    15. Giovanni Ferri & Roshan Borsato, 2018. "Urbanization And International Migration From Africa," CERBE Working Papers wpC29, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    16. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:353-385. is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1405-:d:144280 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Shuai Chen & Paulina Oliva & Peng Zhang, 2017. "The Effect of Air Pollution on Migration: Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 24036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; Climate variability; Agricultural productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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