Extreme weather and migration: evidence from Bangladesh

  • Amanda R. CarricoEmail author
  • Katharine Donato
Original Paper


Using retrospective migration history data collected in southwestern Bangladesh, we examine the relationship between extreme weather conditions—warm spells, dry spells, wet spells, and intense precipitation—and the likelihood that male household heads make a first internal or international migrant trip. We also investigate whether and how agricultural livelihoods and having a close migrant relative are associated with migration in response to extreme weather. Findings reveal that dry spells are most consistently associated with increased migration, although we see some evidence that first trips also increase after warm spells and above average rainfall. Associations between dry spells and warm spells are more pronounced among household heads with agricultural livelihoods. We find little evidence that having migrant relatives is associated with migration after extreme weather events, but some evidence that the presence of migrant networks at the community level is associated with international migration after an environmental shock.


Migration Environment Climate Bangladesh Livelihoods Social Networks 



We presented an earlier version of this paper at the 2018 meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA). We are grateful for the generous support from the Office of Naval Research, Georgetown University, University of Colorado Boulder, and Vanderbilt University. We also thank Jonathan Gilligan for helpful comments and Bhumika Piya, Blake Sisk, and Mitra and Associates for their assistance in carrying out this research. Finally, we thank colleagues at the PAA session and the Population Research Center at the University of Colorado Boulder for their helpful comments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies ProgramUniversity of Colorado, BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.School of Foreign ServiceGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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