Food Scarcity and Immigration Flows

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Isaac Castellano


As the scholarly consensus around the fact that climate change is a human made phenomenon is growing, there has been an increase in scholarly debate over if climate change will lead to an increase in conflicts over scarce resources. Many scholars in this field subscribe to the Home-Dixon model, which provides causal pathway between climate change, resource scarcity, and conflict. Although there has been a lot of research examining this relationship, a key aspect of the Home-Dixon model has been overlooked; if increases in resource scarcity lead to mass migration. This is an important component of the model that must be examined because a key aspect of the theory is that mass migration will lead to even more competition over resources that are growing scarcer. In this research project I will examine how decreases in food production levels affect migration flows from rural to cosmopolitan areas in Africa. I hypothesize that as food production levels decrease there will be an increase in migration flows from rural to cosmopolitan areas. I test this relationship with a multivariate regression that controls for political stability, unemployment, and access to other important resources such as healthcare and education.

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