Environmental Influences on Migration in Rural Ecuador

Clark L. Gray, Duke University
Richard Bilsborrow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The potential for large numbers of internal and international migrants to be displaced by environmental change, particularly climate change, has gained increasing attention, but as of yet few studies have used demographic methods to address this process. We use original survey data from 850 households in rural Ecuador to investigate the influence of several potentially relevant environmental factors on out-migration to local, internal and international destinations. Specifically, we build a person-year dataset containing migration histories from 2000-2008 and estimate a multinomial discrete-time event history model of out-migration to alterative destinations. Preliminary results indicate that some but not all potentially relevant environmental factors significantly influence out-migration, and the directions of these effects do not consistently support common assumptions about environmentally-induced migration.

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Presented in Session 57: Environmental Impacts on Population Dynamics and Health