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Climate Change, Internal Migration and the Future Spatial Distribution of Population: A Case Study of New Zealand

Michael Cameron ()

Working Papers in Economics from University of Waikato

Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of climate change on the future spatial distribution of population in New Zealand, with a focus on the effects of climate variables on internal migration dynamics. Specifically, a gravity modelling framework is first used to identify climate variables that have statistically significant associations with internal migration. The gravity model is then embedded within a cohort-component population projection model to evaluate the effect of different climate change scenarios on regional populations. Three climate variables are found to have statistically significant associations with internal migration: (1) mean sea level pressure in the destination; (2) surface radiation in the origin; and (3) wind speed at ten metres at the destination. Including these variables in the population projection model makes a small difference to the regional population distribution, and the difference between different climate scenarios is negligible. Overall, the results suggest that, while statistically significant, climate change will have a negligible effect on the population distribution of New Zealand at the regional level.

Keywords: climate change; internal migration; gravity model; New Zealand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 Q54 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env, nep-geo and nep-mig
Date: 2017-02-21
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