Weather, Climate, and Migration in the United States

52 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2021 Last revised: 8 Sep 2021

See all articles by Jamie T. Mullins

Jamie T. Mullins

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prashant Bharadwaj

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics

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Date Written: March 2021

Abstract

Do people move as a result of temperature shocks? Documenting weather as a push factor for migration is crucial for informing policy related to climate change and adaptation. This paper studies the impacts of high-temperature days on out-migration from counties in the US. We find that outmigration responds to long-term variation in temperatures, but not to the short-term temperature variations that are commonly leveraged in the literature. We provide evidence consistent with the idea that the effect of long-term variation in temperature is driven by changes in expectations regarding future conditions, and specifically climate change.

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Suggested Citation

Mullins, Jamie and Bharadwaj, Prashant, Weather, Climate, and Migration in the United States (March 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28614, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3814603

Jamie Mullins (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prashant Bharadwaj

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States

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