Associate Professor Clark Gray has been awarded an NIH award to investigate climate-induced migration in Africa.
This project will provide new insight into climate-induced migration in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on how this process varies over space and how destination areas are affected. To address these issues, we will link individual-level data on internal migration and employment from eight countries to area-level data on climate anomalies, vegetation greenness, and nighttime anomalies. This will first allow a fixed-effects analysis of how individual-level and area-level characteristics modify the climate-migration relationship. We hypothesize that areas with low population density, low lifetime migration networks, low educational attainment and hot/dry climates are more likely to experience climate-induced immobilization, or “trapped populations”. Secondly, we will use an instrumental variables approach to analyze how climate-induced migration affects individual employment, area-level vegetation greenness, and area-level nighttime luminosity. We hypothesize that receiving climate-induced migrants will reduce employment of non-migrants, reduce vegetation greenness, and increase nighttime luminosity. These results will substantially broaden the global knowledge base on climate-induced migration, which currently provides little insight into which areas are likely to vulnerable to displacement and immobilization, as well as whether destination areas are likely to experience negative social consequences from these moves.