Climatic factors as determinants of international migration: Redux

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Abstract

In this article, we revisit the issue of environmental change as a potential determinant of international migration, thereby providing an extension of our earlier paper. In contrast to Beine and Parsons (2015, The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 117, 723- 767) and in light of recent empirical contributions, we adopt an alternative identification strategy in which we only include fixed effects together with our measures of climatic change to quantify the net partial effect of climatic change on bilateral migration. Again drawing on panel data from 1960 to 2000, we further exploit the dyadic dimension of our data to highlight the importance of neighbouring countries and former colonial powers in determining the direction of climate-induced emigration. Our baseline results suggest that climatic shocks affect individuals' financial constraints more than their desire to move. Our key findings are that natural disasters tend to deter emigration but importantly spur emigration to neighbouring countries. For middle-income origins, natural disasters, while deterring migration, foster emigration to former colonial powers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-402
Number of pages17
JournalCESifo Economic Studies
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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