Climate shocks and migration: an agent-based modeling approach

Barbara Entwisle, Nathalie E. Williams, Ashton M. Verdery, Ronald R. Rindfuss, Stephen J. Walsh, George P. Malanson, Peter J. Mucha, Brian G. Frizzelle, Philip M. McDaniel, Xiaozheng Yao, Benjamin W. Heumann, Pramote Prasartkul, Yothin Sawangdee, Aree Jampaklay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This is a study of migration responses to climate shocks. We construct an agent-based model that incorporates dynamic linkages between demographic behaviors, such as migration, marriage, and births, and agriculture and land use, which depend on rainfall patterns. The rules and parameterization of our model are empirically derived from qualitative and quantitative analyses of a well-studied demographic field site, Nang Rong district, northeast Thailand. With this model, we simulate patterns of migration under four weather regimes in a rice economy: (1) a reference, “normal” scenario; (2) 7 years of unusually wet weather; (3) 7 years of unusually dry weather; and (4) 7 years of extremely variable weather. Results show relatively small impacts on migration. Experiments with the model show that existing high migration rates and strong selection factors, which are unaffected by climate change, are likely responsible for the weak migration response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-71
Number of pages25
JournalPopulation and Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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