Free DP Download 26 September 2019 - CLIMATE CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY INTENSIFIES ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND HUMAN MIGRATION

Thursday, September 26, 2019

CLIMATE CHANGE, INEQUALITY, AND HUMAN MIGRATION 
Michal Burzynski, Jaime de Melo, Christoph Deuster, Frédéric Docquier  
CEPR DP No. 13997 | 16 September 2019

A new CEPR study by Michal Burzynski, Jaime de Melo, Christoph Deuster and Frédéric Docquier investigates the long-term implications of climate change for local, inter-regional and international migration of workers. The study uses evidence from nearly all of the world's countries to examine the effects of changing temperature and sea level on income distribution and individual decisions about fertility, education and mobility. Among the findings: 

  • Climate change intensifies poverty and income inequality, creating favourable conditions for urbanisation and migration from low- to high-latitude countries. 
  • Projections suggest that climate change will induce the voluntary and forced displacement of 100 to 160 million workers (200 to 300 million climate migrants of all ages) over the course of the 21st century. 
  • Under current migration laws and policies, forcibly displaced people predominantly relocate within their country and merely 20% of climate migrants opt for long-haul migration to OECD countries. 

The study concludes that if climate change induces generalised and persistent conflicts over resources in regions at risk, there will be significantly larger cross-border flows in the future.


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