Goldbach, Carina (2017) Out-migration from Coastal Areas in Ghana and Indonesia—the Role of Environmental Factors. CESifo Economic Studies, 63 (4). pp. 529-559. DOI

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Projections of climatic and environmental changes have generated a growing effort to assess their implications for human migration. Because migration is always a multicausal phenomenon, this study aims to disentangle the impact of environmental factors from other migration-inducing factors to shed some light on the complex relationship between the environment and migration. Thus, we conducted quantitative microlevel studies in low-lying communities in two high-mobility countries—Ghana and Indonesia—that are particularly exposed to coastal hazards like erosion, land subsidence, storm surges and an increasing sea level, and are prone to flooding on a regular basis. Different measures of environmental threats were collected, ranging from individual perceptions over the household’s distance to the coast to expert opinions. We analyzed the relationships using logistic regressions and controlled for contextual factors on multiple levels. No statistically significant direct impacts of slow-onset environmental events on migration decisions could be detected. Perceptions of storms, a clearly sudden-onset event, however, were found to be significantly linked to out-migration decisions in Ghana. These findings support the hypothesis that environmental factors are generally not a primary cause of migration, and their effects are rather context specific—especially for slow-onset changes. (JEL codes: R23, O15, Q54.)

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Institutional and Behavioural Economics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 1610-241X
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2019 15:24
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:58

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