Quantifying the Evidence on Climate Migration: A Meta-Analysis on Country-Level Studies

Roman Hoffmann
Anna Dimitrova
Raya Muttarak, Vienna Institute of Demography
Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

That climate change may trigger large-scale (involuntary) human migration has been predicted by many scholars and international organizations. However, to date, there is no scientific consensus how and under what conditions climatic changes and variability influence population movements. To this end, this study aims to quantitatively synthesize the growing evidence on the relationship using a meta-analysis approach. For reasons of comparability, we focus on 25 macro-level studies (>1200 distinct climate effects) using country-level data, which were identified in a systematic literature search. Employing an innovative standardization approach, we harmonize migration estimates across studies. Besides average effects, we investigate the heterogeneity in effects across study lines considering in particular the role of non-environmental contextual factors and different theoretical mechanisms in influencing human mobility. This allows us to not only determine the scale and scope of the relationship, but to also study under which conditions climate migration most likely occurs and why.

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 Presented in Session 46. Innovative Data and Methods for Population and Environment Research