Climate change as a driver of migration? A sub-national empirical study on the extent to which climate change is a driver of migration in Africa.

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By being the first multi-country research that explores the extent to which climate change is a migratory driver at the sub-national level, this research provides new and distinctive evidence on the relationship between climate change, in particular gradual changes in temperature and precipitation, and migration. The empirical analysis of a newly-created dataset on 529 African sub-national regions observed from 2000 through 2020 reveals that temperature increases are significantly and positively related to increased migration. Next to that, a change in precipitation over 5 years is linked to migration through a non-linear relationship, in which decreases as well as precipitation increases lead to increased migration, while decreases in precipitation sort stronger effects on migration than increases in precipitation. An investigation into differences between regions finds that found effects are stronger for relatively unwealthy regions, and only hold for relatively agriculture-dependent regions, which suggests agriculture to be a channel through which climate change affects migration and resilience to be a moderator of the relationship. Finally, for relatively wet regions, only precipitation increases are related to increased migration, while for relatively dry regions, both decreases and increases are related to increased migration.
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