Climate, Conflict and Forced Migration

Abel, Guy ORCID: and Brottrager, Michael and Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus ORCID: and Muttarak, Raya (2019) Climate, Conflict and Forced Migration. Global Environmental Change , 54. pp. 239-249. ISSN 0959-3780

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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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: Article
Additional Information: Abel's work was supported by National Science Foundation of China Research Fund for International Scientists (Grant Agreement Number:41650110483). Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at
Keywords: Asylum seeker, Climate Change, Conflict, Endogenous selection, Forced Migration, Gravity model, Refugee, Simultaneous equations, SPEI
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft > Makroökonomie
Forschungsinstitute > Human Capital and Development
Forschungsinstitute > Kryptoökonomie
Kompetenzzentren > Sustainability Transf. & Responsibility
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 10:38
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2020 05:50
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