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A Spatial Model of Internal Displacement and Forced Migration

Jon Echevarria-Coco and Javier Gardeazabal

Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2021, vol. 65, issue 2-3, 591-618

Abstract: This article develops a spatial model of internal and external forced migration. We propose a model reminiscent of Hotelling’s spatial model in economics and Schelling’s model of segregation. Conflict is modeled as a shock that hits a country at certain location and generates displacement of people located near the shock’s location. Some displaced people cross a border, thus becoming refugees, while others remain as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The model delivers predictions about how the fractions of a country’s population that become refugees and IDPs ought to be related with the intensity of the shock, country size, terrain ruggedness and the degree of geographical proximity of the country with respect to the rest of the world. The predictions of the model are then tested against real data using a panel of 161 countries covering the period 1995-2016. The empirical evidence is mostly in line with the predictions of the model.

Keywords: internal displacement; forced migration; spatial model; conflict (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0022002720958470

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