Do climate variations explain bilateral migration? A gravity model analysis

Andreas Backhaus, Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso*, Chris Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: This paper investigates to what extent international migration can be explained by climatic variations. A gravity model of migration augmented with average temperature and precipitation in the country of origin is estimated using a panel data set of 142 sending countries for the period 1995 to 2006. We find two primary results. First, temperature is positively correlated with migration. Second, stronger changes in precipitation are also associated with aligned, but small changes in migration. Both effects are robust to various model modifications. Furthermore, we present initial explorations into the channels relating climate changes with migration via agriculture and internal conflict. JEL Codes: F22, Q54

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalIZA Journal of Migration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Climate change
  • Gravity model
  • International migration
  • Panel data


Dive into the research topics of 'Do climate variations explain bilateral migration? A gravity model analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this