Migration in a Warming World: A Dynamic Discrete Choice Model of Climate-Induced Mobility


The 2022 IPCC report on adaptation to climate change estimates that an annual average of over 20 million individuals have been displaced due to weather-related events in recent years. Although previous literature has shown that these displacements are costly, in both monetary and psychological terms, the use of migration as a mechanism of adaptation to changes in an individual’s local climate has the potential to limit the negative implications of climate change. The magnitude of this potential reduction is an open empirical question. I provide the first such estimates that rely on dynamic modeling of individual locational choice decisions. In doing so, I am able to account for both forward-looking behavior and long-run adaptations. I find that accounting for these components leads to very different predictions than what has been found in previous work that abstracts away from these dynamic considerations.