Drought and population mobility in rural Ethiopia

Significant attention has focused on the possibility that climate change will displace large populations in the developing world, but few multivariate studies have investigated climate-induced migration. We use event history methods and a unique longitudinal dataset from the rural Ethiopian highlands to investigate the effects of drought on population mobility over a 10-year period. The results indicate that men’s labor migration increases with drought and that land-poor households are the most vulnerable. However, marriage-related moves by women also decrease with drought. These findings suggest a hybrid narrative of environmentally-induced migration that recognizes multiple dimensions of adaptation to environmental change.

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