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Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration

  • Michel Beine

    ()

    (University of Luxembourg and IRES, CREAM and CES-Ifo)

  • Christopher Parsons

    (University of Nottingham, UK)

In this paper, we examine environmental factors as potential determinants of inter- national migration. We distinguish between unexpected short-run factors, captured by natural disasters, as well as long-run climate change and climate variability captured by deviations and volatilities of temperatures and rainfall from and around their long-run averages. We start from a simple neo-classical model, which is augmented to include environmental factors at origin in the form of amenities. We then test the model us- ing 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. Using our primary specification, having accounted for other well documented determinants of migration, we find no direct impact of climatic change on international migration in the medium to long run across our entire sample. These results are robust when further considering migrants returning home. Conditioning our regressions upon origin country characteristics, we find evidence that shortfalls in precip- itation constrain migration to developing countries from those which rely more heavily upon agriculture and spur movements to developing countries from those with fewer groundwater reserves. We further use the rate of urbanization as a proxy for internal migration and find strong evidence that natural disasters beget greater flows of migrants to urban environs.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 12-01.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:12-01
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  1. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Ozden, Caglar, 2009. "Diasporas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4984, The World Bank.
  2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  9. 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.
  10. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," NBER Working Papers 14680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  12. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," IZA Discussion Papers 3926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2006. "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 06-01, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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