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Should they stay or should they go? Climate Migrants and Local Conflicts

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  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Cristina Cattaneo
  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

There is extensive evidence that higher temperature increases the probability of local conflict. There is also some evidence that emigration represents an important margin of adaptation to climatic change. In this paper we analyse whether migration influences the link between warming and conflicts by either attenuating the effects in countries of origin and/or by spreading them to countries of destination. We find that in countries where emigration propensity, as measured by past diaspora, was higher, increases in temperature had a smaller effects on conflict probability, consistent with emigration functioning as "escape valve" for local tensions. We find no evidence that climate-induced migration increased the probability of conflict in receiving countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24447
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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