Natural Disasters and Human Mobility

In a new paper with Linguère Mously Mbaye we review the effects of natural disasters on human mobility or migration. Although there is an increase of natural disasters and migration recently and hence more evidence to observe, the relationship remains complex. While some authors find that disasters increase migration, others show that they have only a marginal or no effect or are even negative. Human mobility appears to be an insurance mechanism against environmental shocks and there are different transmission channels which can explain the relationship between natural disasters and migration. Moreover, migrants’ remittances help to decrease households’ vulnerability to shocks but also dampen their adverse effects. The paper further provides a discussion of policy implications and potential future research avenues.

Linguère Mously Mbaye & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2016, Natural Disasters and Human Mobility. For the full paper see ZEF Working Paper or UNU-MERIT Working Paper. Forthcoming: International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics

Further recent research papers.

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