Climatic Change

, Volume 138, Issue 3–4, pp 439–451 | Cite as

Perceptions of environmental change and migration decisions

  • Vally KoubiEmail author
  • Sebastian Stoll
  • Gabriele Spilker


While climate change is projected to increase displacement of people, knowledge on this issue remains limited and fragmented. In his paper we focus on the micro-level and study the effects of individual perceptions of different types of environmental events (i.e., sudden/short-term vs. slow-onset/long-term) on migration decisions. Our results based on newly collected micro-level survey data from Vietnam shows that while slow-onset environmental events, such as droughs, significantly decrease the likelihood of migration, short-term events, such as floods, are positively related to migration, although not in a statistically significant way. When contrasting individual level perceptions with actual climatic events we observe that migrants and non-migrants perceive both long-term as well as sudden-onset environmental events in different ways. While non-migrants are slightly better in judging the actual extremeness of events such as floods and hurricanes, it is the migrants who are slightly better in judging the actual extremeness in the case of droughts.


Environmental Event Standardize Precipitation Index Migration Decision Environmental Perception Actual Extremeness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1767_MOESM1_ESM.docx (37 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vally Koubi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sebastian Stoll
    • 2
  • Gabriele Spilker
    • 3
  1. 1.ETH Zurich, Zurich and University of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.EawagDübendorfSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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