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Natural Disasters and International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa

Wim Naudé

Abstract

This paper employs a systems GMM model using data on 43 Sub-Saharan African countries from 1960 to 2005 to find that natural disasters have a significant impact on migration from SSA, raising the net out-migration by around 0.37 persons per 1,000. No direct evidence was found that natural disasters lead to further migration through impacting on GDP growth. It is however established that natural disasters is associated with a slightly increased probability that a country will be in conflict in a subsequent period. The frequency of natural disasters will not influence the duration of the conflict. It is concluded that natural disasters is an important determinant of migration from SSA. The findings in this paper imply that global climate change, through leading to more extreme weather events, will contribute to further migration from the continent.

Keywords

natural disasters, international migration, climate change, conflict, Africa

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