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Title Changing Tides: Attitudes Toward Migration, Climate Change, and Climate Migration
Post date 09/05/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Since August 2018, more than 1 million people in India’s Kerala state have been displaced by flooding, upending local economies and inducing resource competition be- tween the new climate migrants and locals-turned-hosts in nearby states. In August 2005, an equivalent number of people were displaced from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, with nearly half never returning to their homes. Indeed, flight after Kerala and Katrina is emblematic of a broader global phenomenon: climate-induced migration. The magnitude of the threat is striking, with the World Bank expecting more than 143 million climate migrants worldwide by 2050. According to Miller (2017: 20-22), the threat is even larger: “One-third of the world’s population lives near a coast. Looking specifically at low-elevation areas most vulnerable to rising seas, that means close to 700 million people are at risk.... An average of 21.5 million people were displaced every year between 2008 and 2015 from the ‘impact and threat of climate related hazards.”’ While recent debates over the Mediterranean migrant crisis and the U.S. “travel ban” have galvanized attention on forced migrants in the West, researchers and policy-makers have largely failed to consider climate-induced migration. In particular, little academic work has examined public perceptions of the causes and consequences of cli- mate migration. In large measure, this owes to the newness of the threat. However, as climate-driven migration becomes a larger internal and transnational challenge, the implications for border securitization, trade, and conflict are becoming increasingly serious. Thus, understanding public attitudes on this issue to inform support for policy, as well as the potential effects of individual experiences on public attitudes, are important phenomena of interest for academics and policymakers. Improving understanding is thus an imperative.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? This design explores several interrelated questions. Above all, we aim to understand how the mass public perceives climate-driven migration. Does issue salience condition individual-level attitudes on climate-driven migration? Are attitudes on climate-driven migration unique, or do they follow similar patterns to attitudes on climate change and migration generally? Specific questions include (1) the extent to which exposure to mi- gration affects support for actions to address the threat of climate change; (2) whether publics are more likely to perceive climate migration as a threat when previous waves of migration are highly salient; and (3) whether individuals are likely to perceive climate migrants differently from other types of migrants.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * To test our theory we propose a series of survey experiments. Each survey is to be fielded in the U.S. and Germany. The first survey experiment is a 3 x 2 + 1 between-subjects factorial design. Respondents are asked a series of pre-treatment questions to gather data on relevant moderators, then presented with a mock article. The article presents mock scientific findings on the rising incidence of the relevant issue – migration, climate change, or climate-driven migration. Subsequently, the values of the outcome variables are measured and manipulation checks are conducted. The relevant issue is manipulated in the first factor as the subject of the article. Salience is manipulated by the second factor, which localizes the issue in the respondent’s home country or worldwide. The control group receives an article about soccer. The treatment is followed with an open-ended question asking the respondent to summarize the article in order to increase the power of the treatment. The full design of the experiment is detailed at the end of this document. The second survey experiment is a conjoint design. Respondents are asked a series of pre-treatment questions to gather data on relevant moderators, then presented with a series of 9 paired migrant profiles. Then, respondents are asked to rate and to choose between the profiles. The key attribute is reason for migration, for which the levels are flooding, drought, wildfires, political/religious/ethnic persecution, and economic opportunity.
C4 Country United States, Germany
C5 Scale (# of Units) 4,000
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number Protocol # 833527
C9 Date of IRB Approval 07/09/2019
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? not provided by authors
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) F22, Q54, Q56