The Impact of Global Warming on Rural-Urban Migrations: Evidence from Global Big Data

61 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Giovanni Peri

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Akira Sasahara

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics

Date Written: April 2019

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of temperature changes on rural-urban migration using a 56km×56km grid cell level dataset covering the whole world at 10-year frequency during the period 1970-2000. We find that rising temperatures reduce rural-urban migration in poor countries and increase such migration in middle-income countries. These asymmetric migration responses are consistent with a simple model where rural-urban earnings differentials and liquidity constraints interact to determine rural-to-urban migration flows. We also confirm these temperature effects using country-level observations constructed by aggregating the grid cell level data. We project that expected warming in the next century will encourage further urbanization in middle-income countries such as Argentina, but it will slow down urban transition in poor countries like Malawi and Niger.

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Suggested Citation

Peri, Giovanni and Sasahara, Akira, The Impact of Global Warming on Rural-Urban Migrations: Evidence from Global Big Data (April 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25728. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368018

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

Akira Sasahara

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics ( email )

Moscow, ID 83944-3174
United States

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