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Global food prices, local weather and migration in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lars Ludolph () and Barbora Šedová ()
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Lars Ludolph: London School of Economics and Political Science
Barbora Šedová: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, University of Potsdam

No 26, CEPA Discussion Papers from Center for Economic Policy Analysis

Abstract: In this paper, we study the effect of exogenous global crop price changes on migration from agricultural and non-agricultural households in Sub-Saharan Africa. We show that, similar to the effect of positive local weather shocks, the effect of a locally-relevant global crop price increase on household out-migration depends on the initial household wealth. Higher international producer prices relax the budget constraint of poor agricultural households and facilitate migration. The order of magnitude of a standardized price effect is approx. one third of the standardized effect of a local weather shock. Unlike positive weather shocks, which mostly facilitate internal rural-urban migration, positive income shocks through rising producer prices only increase migration to neighboring African countries, likely due to the simultaneous decrease in real income in nearby urban areas. Finally, we show that while higher producer prices induce conflict, conflict does not play a role for the household decision to send a member as a labor migrant.

Keywords: labour migration; food prices; climate; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 O55 Q54 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-agr, nep-dev, nep-env, nep-int and nep-mig
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pot:cepadp:26

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