Drought and Population Mobility in Rural Ethiopia

Clark Gray, Valerie Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

308 Scopus citations


Significant attention has focused on the possibility that climate change will displace large populations in the developing world, but few multivariate studies have investigated climate-induced migration. We use event history methods and a unique longitudinal dataset from the rural Ethiopian highlands to investigate the effects of drought on population mobility over a 10-year period. The results indicate that men's labor migration increases with drought and that land-poor households are the most vulnerable. However, marriage-related moves by women also decrease with drought. These findings suggest a hybrid narrative of environmentally-induced migration that recognizes multiple dimensions of adaptation to environmental change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-145
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Climate
  • Drought
  • Ethiopia
  • Migration
  • Population mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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