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Environmental Change and Out-Migration: Evidence from Nepal

Author(s): Massey, Douglas S.; Axinn, William G.; Ghimire, Dirgha J.

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Abstract: Scholars and activists have hypothesized a connection between environmental change and outmigration. In this paper we test this hypothesis using data from Nepal. We operationalize environmental change in terms of declining land cover, rising times required to gather organic inputs, increasing population density, and perceived declines in agricultural productivity. In general, environmental change is more strongly related to short- than long-distance moves. Holding constant the effects of other social and economic variables, we find that local moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, declining land cover, and increasing time required to gather firewood. Long-distance moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, but the effect is weaker than in the model of short-distance mobility. We also show that effects of environmental change vary by gender and ethnicity, with women being more affected by changes in the time required to gather fodder and men by changes in the time to gather firewood, and high caste Hindus generally being less affect than others by environmental change.
Publication Date: Dec-2010
Electronic Publication Date: 1-Aug-2010
Citation: Massey, Douglas S., Axinn, William G., Ghimire, Dirgha J.. (2010). Environmental Change and Out-Migration: Evidence from Nepal. Population and Environment, 32 (2-3), 109 - 136. doi:10.1007/s11111-010-0119-8
DOI: doi:10.1007/s11111-010-0119-8
ISSN: 0199-0039
EISSN: 1573-7810
Pages: 109 - 136
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Population and Environment
Version: Author's manuscript

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