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Natural disasters, migration and education: an empirical analysis in developing countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2014

Alassane Drabo
Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international (FERDI), Clermont-Ferrand, France. E-mail:
Linguère Mously Mbaye
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5–9, 53113 Bonn, Germany. E-mail:


This paper aims to assess the effect of natural disasters closely related to climate change on migration rates in developing countries, observing how this effect varies according to the level of education. We investigate this relationship by using panel data that measure international migration from developing countries to the main OECD destination countries. Estimations are made with a pair-country fixed effects estimator. The results show that natural disasters are positively associated with emigration rates. Furthermore, we show that natural disasters may exacerbate the brain drain in developing countries when they are at their most vulnerable and need greater support from skilled workers. We also find that the effect of natural disasters on migration varies depending on the geographical location of countries, as well as according to the type of disaster.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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