Socio-Economic Consequences of Climate Change and International Migration


According to the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emissions of greenhouse gases due to human activities have been responsible for an increase of approximately 1.1°C in global temperatures compared to the early industrial era (1850-1900). This research project focuses on the socio-economic consequences of climate change and, in turn, on the role such socio-economic factors play in determining migration decisions. In detail, this project examines the adverse effects of climate change especially on economic activity and human health (e.g., measured in terms of economic growth and child mortality). Socio-economic conditions, in turn, are well-known push factors of migration. That is, if climate change induces more unfavourable socio-economic conditions, it is highly plausible that migration will be a consequence of such adverse changes. Consequently, this research project also examines how climate change affects migration. Here, both internal (i.e., migration from rural to urban areas) and international migration are considered. The project also looks for potentially heterogeneous effects of climate change on migration on the micro- as well macro-level, i.e., across individuals that differ with respect to their individual characteristics (e.g., education, knowledge about climate change) as well as across countries that differ with respect to their capacity to adapt to climate change (e.g., due to different income levels and dependence on agricultural production).

Here, the research project expands upon earlier work undertaken within the Climate Change Impacts on Migration and Urbanization Project (Impetus) (together with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development Dortmund and the City University of New York).

Main content

Selected Publications

Helbling, Marc/Meierrieks, Daniel (2023): "Global Warming and Urbanization". In: Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 36, No. 3, S. 1187-1223. (vorab online publiziert 01.10.2022)
Meierrieks, Daniel (2021): "Weather Shocks, Climate Change and Human Health". In: World Development, Vol. 138, Article 105228. (vorab online publiziert 23.10.2020)
Greßer, Christina/Meierrieks, Daniel/Stadelmann, David (2021): "The Link Between Regional Temperature and Regional Incomes. Econometric Evidence with Sub-National Data". In: Economic Policy, Vol. 36, No. 107, S. 523-550. (vorab online publiziert 11.02.2021)
Helbling, Marc/Meierrieks, Daniel (2021): "How Climate Change Leads to Emigration. Conditional and Long-run Effects". In: Review of Development Economics, Vol. 25, No. 4, S. 2323-2349. (vorab online publiziert 08.07.2021)
Helbling, Marc/Auer, Daniel/Meierrieks, Daniel/Mistry, Malcolm/Schaub, Max (2021): "Climate Change Literacy and Migration Potential. Micro-Level Evidence from Africa". In: Climatic Change - An Interdisciplinary, International Journal Devoted to the Description, Causes and Implications of Climatic Change, Vol. 169, No. 1-2, Article Number 9, S. 1-13.
Meierrieks, Daniel/Stadelmann, David (2021): "Die Kosten des Klimawandels. Staaten mit schwachen Institutionen trifft die globale Erwärmung stärker". In: WZB-Mitteilungen, No. 174, S. 6-8.