Cornell University

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Filiz Garip | How Combination and Sequence of Weather Events Shape Mexico-U.S. Migration Flows

Monday, April 19, 2021 at 2:45pm

Virtual Event

Existing work presents mixed findings on the impact of weather events on international mobility. Relying on fine-grained data over a long time span (1980-2019) in the Mexico-U.S. setting, we turn to machine learning (ML) tools to first determine if weather events can predict migration choices of 150,000+ individuals. We use random-forest models which allow us to include a comprehensive list of weather indicators measured at various lags, and to consider complex interactions among the inputs. These models rely on data-driven model selection, optimize predictive performance, but often produce ‘black-box’ results. In our case, the results show that weather indicators offer at best a modest improvement in migration predictions. We then attempt to open the black box and model the linkages between select weather indicators and migration choices. We find the combination of precipitation and temperature extremes and their particular sequencing to be crucial to predicting weather-driven migration responses out of Mexico. We also show heterogeneity in these responses by household wealth status. Specifically, we find that wealthier households in rural communities migrate in the immediate aftermath of a negative weather shock (relative to the ‘normal’ weather in their community), while poorer households need to experience a positive weather event following a negative one in order to migrate to the United States. This pattern suggests that migration as an adaptation strategy might be available to select households in the developing world, and the most vulnerable might be excluded from resorting on an international trip unless they experience particular sequences of weather events that allow them to raise the necessary funds first.

Filiz Garip (Princeton University) will present in the
2021 Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge Seminar Series:

  • Most Mondays, Spring Semester 2021, 2:45-4:00pm
  • Available as a Zoom Webinar
     

This university-wide seminar series is open to the public, and provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from Cornell University and beyond present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

Streaming site:

https://cornell.zoom.us/j/99794386390?pwd=Qzk1Sm9kMmxId0NyNnVlR0hSbnRJdz09

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Event Type

Seminar

Departments

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Sustainability

Website

https://www.atkinson.cornell.edu/even...

Hashtag

#ClimateChange

Contact E-Mail

peter.hess@cornell.edu

Contact Name

Peter Hess

Speaker

Filiz Garip

Speaker Affiliation

Princeton University

Dept. Web Site

https://atkinson.cornell.edu

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