Migration and Climate Change: Location Choice in Response to Rapid- and Slow-Onset Climate Events
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
- Chair: Elena Irwin, Ohio State University
Heat Exposure and Youth Migration in Central America and the Caribbean
AbstractEvidence documenting the linkages between migration and climate at regional scale is limited. Knowledge on the matter is particularly important for Central America and the Caribbean, a region of the world characterized by exceptionally high (internal and international) migration rates and substantial exposure to disasters. We link individual-level information from multiple censuses for seven countries with georeferenced climate data at the province level to measure the impact of heat exposure on internal mobility. Our results imply that a 1-standard deviation increase in heat would affect the lives of 7,314 and 1,578 unskilled, young (15-25) women and men, respectively. The total effect is slightly smaller than observed in our previous work which focuses on displacement from droughts and hurricanes, but could increase with climate change. Of notable importance is youth facing heat waves are more likely to respond by moving to urban centers than when exposed to disasters endemic to the region. Additional research is warranted over the welfare implications of these choices in the long term and the interventions available to minimize distress migration.
Asylum Applications and Migration Flows
AbstractThroughout history, large waves of migration were induced by weather shocks, in particular droughts. The recent “migration crisis” currently unfolding in Europe has been linked to record droughts in Syria. Unfavorable weather shocks have been shown to worsen economic conditions and increase conflict. To narrow the possible mechanism, we utilize a novel data set that includes binational asylum applications for people suffer persecution between various origin and destination countries, including the year the application was filed. We link asylum applications to other migration data to demonstrate how representative it is of other migration flows. Annual asylum applications respond significantly to temperature shocks in the origin country, but not precipitation shocks.
The Perils of Migration Forecasting in Response to Climate Change
AbstractMark D. Partridge (a,b,c), Bo Feng (a), and Mark Rembert (a)
The impact of climate change has drawn growing interests from both researchers and policymakers. Yet, relatively little is known with respect to its influence on interregional migration. The surge of extreme weather conditions could lead to the increase of forced migration from coastal to inland regions, which normally follows different pattern than voluntary migration. However, recent migration models tend to predict unrealistic migration trends under climate change in that migration would flow towards the areas most adversely affected. Given the great uncertainty about the magnitude and distribution of severe weather events, it is almost impossible to foresee migration directions by simply extrapolating from the data on how people have responded in the past to climate and weather. For example, weather events will likely be far outside of what has been observed. Other issues include a poor understanding of how climate affects migration in an entirely different structural environment, meaning that we have poor measures of future climate. Unintended consequence of public policies also contributes to the complication of predicting future migration pattern. In this paper, we survey the limitations of existing climate change literature, explore insights of regional economic studies, and provide potential solutions to those issues.
a. AED Economics, The Ohio State University
b. School of Economics, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
c. Urban Studies, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L’Aquila, Italy
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- Q5 - Environmental Economics