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Climate Change and Migration: New Insights from a Dynamic Model of Out-Migration and Return Migration

Citation

Entwisle, Barbara; Verdery, Ashton M.; & Williams, Nathalie E. (2020). Climate Change and Migration: New Insights from a Dynamic Model of Out-Migration and Return Migration. American Journal of Sociology, 125(6), 1469-1512. PMCID: PMC7406200

Abstract

In popular accounts, stories of environmental refugees convey a bleak picture of the impacts of climate change on migration. Scholarly research is less conclusive, with studies finding varying effects. This paper uses an agent-based model (ABM) of land use, social networks, and household dynamics to examine how extreme floods and droughts affect migration in Northeast Thailand. The ABM explicitly models the dynamic and interactive pathways through which climate-migration relationships might operate, including coupled out and return streams. Results suggest minimal effects on out-migration but marked negative effects on return. Social networks play a pivotal role in producing these patterns. In all, the portrait of climate change and migration painted by focusing only on environmental refugees is too simple. Climate change operates on already established migration processes that are part and parcel of the life course, embedded in dynamic social networks, and incorporated in larger interactive systems where out- and return migration are integrally connected.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/709463

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology

Author(s)

Entwisle, Barbara
Verdery, Ashton M.
Williams, Nathalie E.

Year Published

2020

Volume Number

125

Issue Number

6

Pages

1469-1512

PMCID

PMC7406200

NIHMSID

NIHMS1585684

Reference ID

12702