Climate change and migration: the case of Africa


How will future climate change affect rural economies like sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in terms of migration and welfare losses? How can policy enhance SSA’s capacity to adapt to this process? I answer these questions with a quantitative framework that, coupled with rich spatial data and forecasts for the future, estimates millions of climate migrants and sizeable and unequal welfare losses in SSA. Investigating migration and trade policies as mitigating tools, I find a tradeoff associated with the former: reducing SSA migration barriers to the European Union (EU) standards eliminates aggregate welfare losses at the cost of more climate migration and high regional inequality. Reducing tariffs to the EU levels attenuates this cost.