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Migration in response to climate change and its impact in China

Yi Sun (Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Chengjin Xu (Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Hailing Zhang (Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Zheng Wang (Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, and Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Climate change will have a significant impact on China’s potential agricultural production and change the distribution of the population in various regions of China, thus producing population migration. This paper aims to analyze China’s population migration in response to climate change and its socio-economic impact.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the Potential Agriculture Production Index is introduced as an analytical tool with which to estimate the scale of the population migration induced by climate change. Also, this paper constructs a multi-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and analyzes the effect of change in the population distribution pattern on regional economies, regional disparity and resident welfare.

Findings

The key finding of this paper is that, as a result of changes in potential agricultural production induced by climate change, the Circum-Bohai-Sea region, the industrialized region and the industrializing region, which are the main destination regions of the migrating population, will face a severe labor shortage. In response to population migration, the economic growth rate of the immigrating population regions has accelerated. Correspondingly, the economic growth rate of the emigrating population regions has decreased. In addition, the larger the scale of population migration is, the larger the economic impact is. Migration increases inner-regional disparity and decreases inter-regional disparity. However, overall regional disparity is only somewhat decreased.

Originality/value

This paper introduces a Potential Agriculture Production Index to estimate the scale of the population migration and introduce a multi-regional CGE model to analyze the correlated social-economic impacts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their heuristic comments. Opinions are those of the authors. Research funding provided by National Natural Science Foundation (41271551, 71201157), National 973 Project (2012CB955800) and Key Project of the CAS (XDA05150900) are gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Sun, Y., Xu, C., Zhang, H. and Wang, Z. (2017), "Migration in response to climate change and its impact in China", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 9 No. 03, pp. 352-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-05-2016-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited