Does harmful climate increase or decrease migration? Evidence from Rural Households in Nigeria

Cattaneo, Cristina, and Emanuele Massetti. “Does Harmful Climate Increase Or Decrease Migration? Evidence From Rural Households In Nigeria.” Climate Change Economics 10.04 (2019): 1950013.

This paper analyzes whether migration is an adaptation strategy that households employ to cope with climate in Nigeria. We estimate our model using the cross-sectional variation in climate and long-term migration decisions because we are interested in the average response to long-term climatic conditions. For households that operate farms, we find that the relationship between climate and migration is nonlinear. In particular, climates closer to ideal farming conditions are associated with a higher propensity to migrate, whereas in the least favorable climatic conditions, the propensity to migrate declines. The marginal effect of rainfall and temperature changes on migration varies by season. We estimate the impact of climate change on the number of migrant households in 2031–2060 and 2071–2100, ceteris paribus. With current population levels, climate change generates between 3.6 and 6.3 million additional migrants, most of them being internal. However, these estimates are not statistically significant.

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