Staff Seminar

Gone with the Wind: International Migration - Dennis Wesselbaum

12 Dec 2017

Institut für Weltwirtschaft


Dennis Wesselbaum (University of Otago)


This paper adds to the literature on the determinants of international migration. First, we offer a joint analysis of the driving forces of migration capturing year-to-year variations and long-run effects. Second, we analyze the dynamic response of migration to shocks to its determinants. We start by presenting a theoretical model that allows us to model migration as an augmented gravity equation. We then construct a rich panel data set with 16 destination and 198 origin countries between 1980 and 2014. Most importantly, we find that climate change is a more important driver than income and political freedom together. Our results imply that a large time dimension is key to understand the effects of climate change. We then estimate a panel vectorautoregressive model showing that the dynamic response of migration is very different across shocks to different driving forces. Our findings carry implications for national and international immigration policies.


Amelia Aburn (Victoria University of Wellington) — Dennis Wesselbaum (University of Otago)


Lecture Hall