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Climate change: extreme heat will decrease rural employment and increase migration in Mexico

Climate change is predicted to bring increased incidence of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and changing precipitation patterns. A growing body of literature suggests that the economic costs of climate change may be substantial and far-reaching, impacting agriculture, mortality, labour productivity, economic growth, civil conflict, and migration. Until recently, however, the literature has remained relatively silent on the role of temperature in agricultural production and rural incomes in less-developed countries. In these countries, farmers face limited access to credit, fertiliser, other agricultural inputs or government support, and a larger proportion of the population is employed in agriculture.

The focus of our study is Mexico, where agriculture is one of the largest sectors of employment, providing work for more than 13 per cent of the country’s population in 2016. This study investigates the effects of temperature and precipitation on local employment decisions in rural Mexico, including demand for hired labour, agricultural employment, and non-agricultural employment.

 Read further from the LSE or the study paper Climate Change and Labour Allocation in Rural Mexico: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather, Economic Journal