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Climate Anomalies and International Migration: A Disaggregated Analysis for West Africa

Arndt Reichert (), Fernanda Martínez Flores () and Sveta Milusheva

VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: West Africa is vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change and a potential channel of adjustment is migration. Using novel geo-referenced and high-frequency data, we investigate the extent to which soil moisture anomalies have an impact on international migration within the region and directed to Europe. Our findings show that drier soil conditions decrease rather than increase the probability to migrate. A standard deviation decrease in soil moisture leads to a 2 percentage points drop in the probability to migrate, which is equivalent to a decrease of about 25% in the number of migrants. This effect is concentrated during the crop-growing season, suggesting that the decrease in migration is mainly driven by financial constraints. The effect is only seen for areas that are in the middle of the income distribution, with no impact on the poorest or richest areas of a country.

Keywords: West Africa; climate change; migration; agriculture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 O13 O15 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/242470/1/vfs-2021-pid-50698.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Climate Anomalies and International Migration: A Disaggregated Analysis for West Africa (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Climate anomalies and international migration: A disaggregated analysis for West Africa (2021) Downloads
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