Variation by Geographic Scale in the Migration-Environment Association: Evidence from Rural South Africa

Show simple item record Hunter, L.M. Leyk, S. Maclaurin, G.J. Nawrotzki, R. Twine, W. Erasmus, B.F.N. Collinson, M. 2019-10-31T13:58:04Z 2019-10-31T13:58:04Z 2017
dc.identifier.citation Hunter, L.M., et al. 2017. Variation by geographic scale in the migration–environment association: Evidence from rural South Africa. Comparative Population Studies 42, pp.117-148. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1869-8980(PRINT)
dc.identifier.issn 869-8999 (ONLINE)
dc.description.abstract Scholarly understanding of human migration’s environmental dimensions has greatly advanced in the past several years, motivated in large part by public and policy dialogue around “climate migrants”. The research presented here advances current demographic scholarship both through its substantive interpretations and conclusions, as well as its methodological approach. We examine temporary rural South African outmigration as related to household-level availability of proximate natural resources. Such “natural capital” is central to livelihoods in the region, both for sustenance and as materials for market-bound products. The results demonstrate that the association between local environmental resource availability and outmigration is, in general, positive: households with higher levels of proximate natural capital are more likely to engage in temporary migration. In this way, the general findings support the “environmental surplus” hypothesis that resource security provides a foundation from which households can invest in migration as a livelihood strategy. Such insight stands in contrast to popular dialogue, which tends to view migration as a last resort undertaken only by the most vulnerable households. As another important insight, our findings demonstrate important spatial variation, complicating attempts to generalize migration-environment findings across spatial scales. In our rural South African study site, the positive association between migration and proximate resources is actually highly localized, varying from strongly positive in some villages to strongly negative in others. We explore the socio-demographic factors underlying this “operational scale sensitivity”. The cross-scale methodologies applied here offer nuance unavailable within more commonly used global regression models, although also introducing complexity that complicates story-telling and inhibits generalizability. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Agricultural Research Council; Wellcome Trust en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Federal Institute for Population Research en_ZA
dc.rights Copyright (c) 2017 CC BY-SA en_ZA
dc.subject Climate en_ZA
dc.subject Environment en_ZA
dc.subject Livelihoods en_ZA
dc.subject Natural resources en_ZA
dc.subject Migration en_ZA
dc.subject Operational scale sensitivity en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject Scale en_ZA
dc.title Variation by Geographic Scale in the Migration-Environment Association: Evidence from Rural South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 42 en_ZA
dc.journal.title Comparative Population Studies en_ZA
dc.description.librarian NLB2019 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.12765/CPoS-2017-11en en_ZA
dc.citation.epage 148 en_ZA
dc.citation.spage 117 en_ZA
dc.funder NICHD-funded University of Colorado Population Center en_ZA

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