Does the climate make people migrate? Evidence from Mexico

Kerstin Schmidt-Verkerk, Sussex Centre for Migration Research

The purpose of this presentation is twofold. It suggests a methodology to research the nexus between climate signals and migration and presents empirical results from Zacatecas and Veracruz, Mexico. The research tries to reduce the complexity of the relationship between climate stressors and migration by focussing on three aspects. 1) Migration has different drivers, 2) People are making use of different responses when faced with shocks and stresses, and 3) Migration has different forms. Migration decisions are influenced by structural (lack of income opportunities), institutional (networks, recruiters) and personal (resources, willingness, perceived ability) aspects. The aim of the research is to analyse the relationship between the elements involved in people’s decisions to migrate or not and their choice of a destination, the length of stay and the question if the whole family or a single member will leave. These elements will then be tested for their sensitivity to climate change.

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Presented in Session 224: Environment-induced migrants (2)