Climatic Variability and Cause-Specific Migration Across Rural and Urban India

Carolyn Reyes , Pennsylvania State University
Brian Thiede, Pennsylvania State University

A growing literature on the demographic impacts of climate change has shown that changes in temperature and precipitation disrupt migration patterns throughout the developing world. The empirical record today represents a significant improvement over what was available just a half-decade ago, but remains characterized by limitations that preclude a coherent explanation of observed patterns. We aim to address at least two of these limitations by analyzing the effects of climate variability on cause-specific migration; and decomposing migration outcomes between rural and urban origins and destinations. We link survey data on spatial mobility, causes of migration, and socioeconomic characteristics with precipitation and temperature records in the Indian context. Preliminary results indicate that precipitation is positively associated with migration odds, and particularly to urban destinations. Subsequent analyses will explicitly test whether such patterns are driven by rural-to-urban moves, and will also examine the types of migration most- and least-affected by climatic variability.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography