Climate instability, urbanization and international migration

This paper focuses on climate-induced migration. We construct a simple theoretical model where, in a first step, climate shocks accelerate the transition from the traditional to the modern sector, leading rural workers to move to urban centres within national borders, while in a second step, downward pressures on wages due to the greater labour supply in cities push people to engage in international migration. To test this hypothesis, we exploit a rich panel dataset, displaying a representative picture of bilateral migration flows and climatic data across 222 countries for the period 1960–2000. Findings suggest that in the next few years the climate-induced growth rate of migrant stocks might be in a range between 8.6 per cent and 12.8 per cent, especially from developing countries, where the level of rural employment is more likely to be affected by climatic shocks.

Maurel M. and Tuccio M., (2016) "Climate instability, urbanization and international migration" Journal of Development Studies, vol 52 (5), January 2016, pp. 735-752