Migration in the Murray-Darling Basin Australia during the Millennium Drought period

  • Erick Hansnata

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The latest prolonged drought or the Millennium Drought period in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) highlights several key issues for the people, businesses, and authorities in the Basin. Studies related to the event have mostly focused on water management, environmental issues and policy assessment. However, the direct socio-economic impact during the drought also raises the question of population issues, particularly migration activities. Thus, identifying and understanding patterns of out-migration as well as in-migration into the Basin during the drought in the MDB are essential to fully appreciate the debates on MDB water policies and water for the future. This thesis examines the relationship between migration activities and socio-economic factors, with a particular focus on the environmental shock of the drought. This has not been undertaken before in the literature on the MDB. In order to examine migration in the MDB, the study develops a unique dataset drawing on three different sources to capture migration data, socio-economic indicators and environmental factors. The analysis assessing internal migration by age groups, area classifications, and remoteness index shows that the migration follows the fundamental concept of the gravity model. In the empirical estimation, the key environmental variable of rainfall data is applied indirectly as an instrument for agricultural production, where as an endogenous parameter it affects migration activity. Several econometric tests are also conducted by age group classifications and areas outside the Basin for comparison purposes. Besides highlighting fundamental determinants of migration such as the new classical concept of income differentials, the findings confirm that environmental factors influenced people’s mobility within the period, and the estimation is validated with a strong instrument.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorLaurie Brown (Supervisor), Anne Daly (Supervisor) & Riyana Miranti (Supervisor)

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