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Climate Change, International Migration, and Interstate Conflict

Cristina Cattaneo and Timothy Foreman ()
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Timothy Foreman: RFF†CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro†Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

No 2109, CReAM Discussion Paper Series from Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London

Abstract: A number of factors contribute to interstate conflicts. One social element that has received little attention in the literature is the role of international migration. At the same time, the contribution of climate stress on interstate disputes has been underresearched. This paper analyses if climate stress represents a direct driver of interstate disputes and, at the same time, an indirect driver to conflicts through its effect on international migration. To do so, we use climate shocks to instrument for migration flows in a gravity setting in order to study its causal effect on international conflict. We find that a 1% increase in climate-induced migration increases the probability that the destination of the flows initiates conflict against the origin by 0.001 percentage points over a mean incidence of conflict of 0.13 percentage point per year. The results are consistent across different migration datasets and different specifications of defining the initiator in the conflict.

Date: 2021-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-env, nep-int and nep-mig
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