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Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage

Ruohong Cai (), Shuaizhang Feng (), Mariola Pytlikova () and Michael Oppenheimer
Additional contact information
Ruohong Cai: Princeton University
Michael Oppenheimer: Princeton University

No 1418, CReAM Discussion Paper Series from Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London

Abstract: While there is considerable interest in understanding the climate-migration relationship, particularly in the context of concerns about global climatic change, little is known about underlying mechanisms. We analyze a unique and extensive set of panel data characterizing annual bilateral international migration flows from 163 origin countries to 42 OECD destination countries covering the last three decades. We find a positive and statistically significant relationship between temperature and international outmigration only in the most agriculture-dependent countries, consistent with the widely-documented adverse impact of temperature on agricultural productivity. In addition, migration flows to current major destinations are especially temperature-sensitive. Policies to address issues related to climate-induced international migration would be more effective if focused on the agriculture-dependent countries and especially people in those countries whose livelihoods depend on agriculture.

Keywords: International migration; Climate variability; Agricultural productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-eff, nep-env, nep-int and nep-mig
Date: 2014-05
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Related works:
Journal Article: Climate variability and international migration: The importance of the agricultural linkage (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Climate Variability and International Migration: The Importance of the Agricultural Linkage (2014) Downloads
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