Population Research Discovery Seminars
Climate Migration Across Contexts, Gender, and the Life Course: An Examination in Contemporary Mexico
Fernando Riosmena, Associate Professor, Population Program, Geography Department, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Institute of Behavioral Science
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Livelihood disruptions related to climatic variability -in turn exacerbated by climate change over the current Century- have manifested in deteriorations of population health and wellbeing, altered mobility, and other population dynamics, with uneven impacts along important social groups or categories. In the case of migration -perhaps especially of international movement- the extent and even direction of increasing climate change-related exposure to adverse environmental events and conditions on population mobility is likely to differ considerably across social contexts and categories/groups because environmental exposures are “filtered through” broader social structures, for which members of groups or categories access differentially in terms of e.g., opportunities and normative expectations. To examine this likely heterogeneity in environmental responses, we examine the relationship between climatic variability and internal vs. international migration in Mexico, specifically assessing these associations across socioeconomic contexts, gender, and ages, which relatively little work to date has focused on. Using 5-year retrospective migration data from the 2010 and 2020 Mexican Population and Housing Census long form 10% samples and environmental and contextual information from several sources described later on, we estimate difference-in-difference (DiD) models on several strata of propensity-score-matched municipalities in order to compare temporal changes in migration rates between otherwise similar places that are differentially exposed to negative environmental exposures likely to affect more climate-sensitive economic production. By matching municipalities exposed vs. not experiencing shocks -but which otherwise are similar contextual characteristics in a variety of baseline indicators of relevance for migration and/or broader climate adaptation- our DiD approach aims at drastically reducing the potential confounding effects of other mechanisms driving Mexican mobility patterns, which have indeed changed considerably during the current Century. By using a stratified matching approach, we are able to estimate different “clusters” of municipalities that are alike to each other (in their cluster), but which differ from those in other clusters in substantively-relevant contextual characteristics. In turn, we use these groupings to assess whether the climate-migration association is similar across contexts as well as by gender, age, and type of movement (i.e., international vs. internal).
Fernando Riosmena is an Associate Professor at the Population Program and the Geography Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Institute of Behavioral Science. His research aims at improving understanding of the theories, drivers, empirical measurement, and analytical strategies to analyze spatial mobility, with a particular focus on the social, economic, policy, and environmental factors likely influencing international migration between Mexico and the United States. In addition, Riosmena also does research assessing the patterns and explanations of the chronic health status Latin American immigrants arrive with, how this health status changes over time, and how and why it differs between immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants.