Marc Helbling, Daniel Meierrieks
Global warming and urbanization

Journal of Population Economics, 2023: 36, Heft 3, S. 1187–1223
ISSN: 0933-1433 (print), 1432-1475 (online)

Analyzing 118 countries between 1960 and 2016, we find that higher temperatures correlate with higher urbanization rates in the long run, where this relationship is much more pronounced than any short-term linkage. The long-run relationship between global warming and urbanization is also conditional upon country-specific conditions. This long-run association is especially relevant in poorer and more agri- culture-dependent countries with an urban bias as well as in initially non-urban coun- tries in hotter climate zones. We also provide suggestive evidence that warming con- tributes to losses in agricultural productivity and to pro-urban shifts in public goods provision and that the global warming-urbanization nexus is partly mediated through these channels. Consequently, we argue that the estimated long-run relationship between temperature and urbanization partly captures the potential impact of increas- ing temperatures on urbanization via a rural push (by impairing agriculture) and an urban pull (via an increased demand for public goods primarily supplied in cities).