Quantitative analysis of determinants of international migration

Type

Report

Author

Collier, P.
Hoeffler, A.

Title

Quantitative analysis of determinants of international migration

Year

2011

Publisher

Government Office for Science UK

Abstract

In our paper we examine the effect of global climate change on migration. Using recently collected data we first analyse a model of global migration. Our analysis shows that the emergence of an immigrant diaspora is predominantly economic in character, rather than political. Migrants move from lower-income countries to higher-income countries but migration appears to be more responsive to incomes in countries of destination than to incomes in countries of origin. However, in selecting their country of destination, migrants are strongly influenced by the cost of migration and their ability to finance it. For the subset of rich destination countries we can carry out some dynamic analysis and find that the previous stock of migrants, or diaspora, is the most important determinant of migration. As a diaspora accumulates the cost of migration are lowered. This powerfully increases overall migration, so that the effects of all other influences on migration become progressively amplified over time. We then introduce climate variables into our models; however, our empirical analysis is limited by the availability of climate data. There are no time series data available for sea-level rises, scarcity of freshwater or arable land. We are able to include data on past temperature and precipitation (changes) as well as information on natural disasters. We find little evidence that climate change affects migration. In our OECD model we find some evidence that droughts and floods increase migration to rich countries.

Citation

Collier, P., & Hoeffler, A. (2011). Quantitative analysis of determinants of international migration. London : Government Office for Science UK.