Air Pollution and Migration in Italy: An Empirical Investigation at Provincial Level

Human mobility in relation to climate change and environmental degradation has been gaining increasing prominence in public and policy debates. Though many factors can come into play on mobility decisions, it is suggested that the increased concerns with environmental risks may be influential in shaping internal and external migration patterns

Anna Rita Germani, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Giuseppina Talamo, University of Enna “Kore”, and Pasquale Scaramozzino, SOAS University of London and University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

DOI 10.12910/EAI2018-004


(download pdf)
This paper is an initial exploration to investigate the relationship between migration and environmental pollution in Italy. It first provides a brief survey of the main strictly related literature and, then, it aims to discuss the major concepts behind the research question, i.e. whether air pollution could be one of the push factors that force people to migrate. In order to capture the potential links between local economic conditions (i.e., unemployment, income, level of infrastructures, entrepreneurial spirit, etc.), demographic characteristics, environmental pollution and migration patterns, an empirical model will be developed including data, at provincial level, reflecting all these characteristics. We need to say that this is a preliminary analysis of an ongoing work. As such, it is not intended to be definitive but to inform about future work. To the best of our knowledge, so far, there is no nation-wide study designed to explore the relationship between environmental risks and migration streams in Italy and we believe that the results might be particularly important, as they will offer the first empirical examination of the association between population migration/redistribution at provincial level and environmental risk factors in Italy. …