Armed Conflict, Mass Media, and Migration: A Micro-Level Social Demographic Approach
Nathalie Williams, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Prior research has shown that periods of armed conflict increase migration on an aggregate-level. In this study, I theoretically and empirically address migration during armed conflict from a social-demographic perspective and take a micro-level approach, focusing on the behavioral decisions of individuals and the role of the mass media in moderating the relationship between exposure to armed conflict and migration. Using detailed data on men’s migration during the recent conflict in Nepal, results from event history models show that consumption of news media systematically resulted in higher rates of migration following specific violent events. This evidence suggests that the news media is a powerful macro-level factor that can provide information about and alter perceptions of the salience of violent events during conflict. In addition to migration, these results are broadly relevant to the role of mass media in moderating other behaviors during armed conflict as well as other exogenous shocks.