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Migration as an Adaptation Strategy to Weather Variability: An Instrumental Variables Probit Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Yonas Alem

    (GU - University of Gothenburg)

  • Mathilde Maurel

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Katrin Millock

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

There is solid scientific evidence predicting that a large part of the developing world will suffer a greater incidence of extreme weather events, which may increase the incidence of displacement migration. We draw on the new economics of migration to model migration decisions of smallholder and rain-dependent farm households in rural Ethiopia and investigate both the ex-ante and ex-post impacts of climate variables. Using detailed household survey panel data matched with rainfall data, we show that weather variability - measured by the coeffcient of variation of rainfall - has a strong positive impact on the probability of sending a migrant. This implies that households engage in migration to cope with risk ex-ante. We also find evidence suggesting that rainfall shocks have ex-post impact on households' likelihood of migration, but the effect is not statistically significant at the conventional levels. Instrumental variables probit regression results also show that controlling for endogeneity of income using a credible instrument is important to identify its impact on the decision to send a migrant. Our findings have important implications for policies aiming to improve the capacity of vulnerable households to adapt to climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Yonas Alem & Mathilde Maurel & Katrin Millock, 2016. "Migration as an Adaptation Strategy to Weather Variability: An Instrumental Variables Probit Analysis," Working Papers hal-01955941, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01955941
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01955941
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    Cited by:

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    2. Bujor Răzvan, 2022. "Migration from the perspective of climate change," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 16(1), pages 556-566, August.
    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. Chiara Falco & Franco Donzelli & Alessandro Olper, 2018. "Climate Change, Agriculture and Migration: A Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(5), pages 1-21, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; drought; Ethiopia; household survey; migration; rainfall;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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