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

Author

Listed:
  • Alem, Yonas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Maurel, Mathilde

    (CNRS-Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, and FERDI)

  • Millock, Katrin

    (CNRS-Paris School of Economics)

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

  • Alem, Yonas & Maurel, Mathilde & Millock, Katrin, 2016. "Migration as an Adaptation Strategy to Weather Variability: An Instrumental Variables Probit Analysis," Working Papers in Economics 665, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0665
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/44636
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Olper, A. & Falco, C. & Galeotti, M., 2018. "Climate Change, Agriculture and Migration: Is there a Causal Relationship ?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277488, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1405-:d:144280 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; drought; Ethiopia; household survey; migration; rainfall.;

    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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