University of Oulu

Wiig, A., Mahmud, M., Kolstad, I. et al. Digging in? Migration preferences in communities affected by climate change — evidence from Bangladesh. Reg Environ Change 23, 96 (2023).

Digging in? : migration preferences in communities affected by climate change — evidence from Bangladesh

Saved in:
Author: Wiig, Arne1; Mahmud, Minhaj2; Kolstad, Ivar3;
Organizations: 1Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway
2Asian Development Bank, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
3Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law, Norwegian School of Economics, and Chr. Michelsen Institute, Helleveien 30, 5045 Bergen, Norway
4Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland & Chr. Michelsen Institute, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-01


We analyse unique survey data on the migration intentions of 400 households in two extremely climate exposed communities in coastal Bangladesh. The results show that few households in these areas expect to relocate elsewhere over the coming 5-year period. Surprisingly, households that have experienced environmental shocks do not express higher migration intentions or expectations of future shocks. These results hold controlling for variables reflecting household constraints, vulnerability, and coping capacity, and likely reflects the population remaining in the region being a highly selected sample whose preferences for mobility are low and remain limited in the face of environmental shocks. Moreover, an embedded discrete choice experiment shows that shock-exposed households are less likely to move in scenarios of worse future environmental conditions. We argue that this is hard to explain through selection or increased resilience alone, and may instead reflect preference change among shock-exposed households that have chosen to remain. Our results suggest that in contexts of ongoing exposure to climate shocks, migration may over time become an increasingly unimportant adaptation strategy in affected areas.

see all

Series: Regional environmental change
ISSN: 1436-3798
ISSN-E: 1436-378X
ISSN-L: 1436-3798
Volume: 23
Issue: 3
Article number: 96
DOI: 10.1007/s10113-023-02086-3
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: Open access funding provided by Norwegian School Of Economics. Funding from the Research Council of Norway is gratefully acknowledged (Grant number 274702).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit