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Weathering the storm: Weather shocks and international migrants from the Philippines


  • Pajaron, Marjorie C.
  • Vasquez, Glacer Niño A.


The growing literature on environmental migration presents conflicting results. While some find that natural disasters induce international migration, others discover a dampening effect. We aim to reconcile these differences by using a comprehensive list of weather shocks from the Philippines, a country prone to natural disasters and a major exporter of labor. We constructed a longitudinal provincial dataset (2005–2015) from an assemblage of administrative and survey datasets and tested linear, quadratic, and lagged models. Our fixed-effects results are consistent with both strands in the literature with caveats. First, Filipinos are more likely to work abroad when they experience less-intense tropical cyclones and storm warning signal but are more likely to stay with a more damaging storm warning signal. Second, differential effects of weather shocks on international migration contingent on agriculture exists. Third, non-environmental factors such as economic (unemployment rate) and infrastructure (number of high schools) also push Filipinos abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Pajaron, Marjorie C. & Vasquez, Glacer Niño A., 2020. "Weathering the storm: Weather shocks and international migrants from the Philippines," GLO Discussion Paper Series 460, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:460

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    More about this item


    Migration; Natural Disaster; Panel Dataset; Agriculture; OFWs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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