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Natural Disasters and Human Mobility

ZEF - Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Working Paper 151

31 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2016  

Linguère Mbaye

IZA

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Harvard University; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August 2016

Abstract

This paper reviews the effect of natural disasters on human mobility or migration. Although there is an increase of natural disasters and migration recently and more patterns 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 provides a discussion of policy implications and potential future research avenues.

Keywords: natural disasters, forced migration, channels, remittances, migration as insurance, floods, earthquakes, droughts

JEL Classification: J61, O15, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Mbaye, Linguère and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Natural Disasters and Human Mobility (August 2016). ZEF - Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Working Paper 151. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2825015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2825015

Klaus Zimmermann

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

University of Bonn

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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