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Climate, Conflict and Forced Migration

Abel, Guy and Brottrager, Michael and Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus and Muttarak, Raya (2018) Climate, Conflict and Forced Migration. Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 272. WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna.

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Abstract

Despite the lack of robust empirical evidence, a growing number of media reports attempt to link climate change to the ongoing violent conflicts in Syria and other parts of the world, as well as to the migration crisis in Europe. Exploiting bilateral data on asylum seeking applications for 157 countries over the period 2006-2015, we assess the determinants of refugee flows using a gravity model which accounts for endogenous selection in order to examine the causal link between climate, conflict and forced migration. Our results indicate that climatic conditions, by affecting drought severity and the likelihood of armed conflict, played a significant role as an explanatory factor for asylum seeking in the period 2011-2015. The effect of climate on conflict occurrence is particularly relevant for countries in Western Asia in the period 2010-2012 during when many countries were undergoing political transformation. This finding suggests that the impact of climate on conflict and asylum seeking flows is limited to specific time period and contexts.

Item Type: Paper
Keywords: forced migration, climate change, conflict
Classification Codes: JEL F22, Q54, D74
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft
Depositing User: Claudia Tering-Raunig
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 11:49
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2019 09:26
URI: http://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/6625

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