Family and Community Obligations Motivate People to Immigrate—A Case Study from the Republic of the Marshall Islands
1.1. Climate Change and Emigration
1.2. Micronesian Migration
2. Materials and Method
2.1. Marshall Islands
2.2. Questionnaire Survey
2.3. Identification of Dominant Factors by Permutation Feature Importance
2.4. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)
3.2. Factors Determining Migration
3.3. Contribution of Independent Variables Estimated by Permutation Feature Importance
- A model is constructed using the XGBoost (eXtreme Gradient Boosting) algorithm being implemented in the R’s “caret” package, where the answer to question 16 is the dependent variable and the answers to all other questions are the independent variables.
- Permutation Feature Importance (PFI) is applied to the calibrated model to identify the independent variables that are the “outstanding factors”.
3.4. Verification of Hypotheses by Structural Equation Modeling
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Questionnaire (Language Used Is Marshallese)
- What is your age?
- What is your sex?
- What is your marital status?
- What is the highest level of education you currently have?
- Please estimate your entire household income in the previous year.
- What is your primary occupation?
- I am certain that Climate Change is taking place.
- Views or Information about Climate Change, which is conveyed through mass media (newspaper, television, radio), is trustworthy.
- Information about Climate Change available through the internet is trustworthy.
- I believed what school teachers say about Climate Change is trustworthy.
- I understand the culture of my country.
- I believe in my people’s traditional knowledge of nature.
- How often does your community leader talk about Climate Change?
- How often does your family talk about Climate Change?
- I believed what political leaders of my country say about Climate Change is trustworthy.
- I am certain that Sea Level Rise is taking place.
- How many times a week do you go to church?
- I understand what church leaders say about climate change is trustworthy.
- The atoll countries in the Pacific will never be submerged by sea level rise caused by Climate Change, for according to the Bible (Isaiah 54:9) God said “I once promised Noah that I would never again destroy the earth by a flood.”
- Pope Francis in 2015 announced that he was convinced global warming is predominantly driven by man and that he would push for action against climate change as a matter of social justice.
- United Church of Christ in its Web says “The problems of climate change and global warming are confirmed and well-documented by the scientist community. The fact is that our planet and the natural systems that sustain life are changing due to global warming.”
- I wish to migrate abroad sometime in the future.
- What is your English speaking ability?
- I feel I have the necessary skills to get a job abroad.
- Serious environmental issues (such as pollution, waste management, and dengue) exists other than climate change in RMI.
- How often do your community leaders talk about migration abroad?
- How often does your family talk among yourselves about migration abroad?
- How many of your family members live abroad?
- I live on my family’s land and I am part the decision making on how to use the land
- I may migrate because I have too many obligations as a member of my family.
- I may migrate because I have too many obligations as a member of the community I belong to.
- I may migrate because I or a family member might require medical attention.
- I may migrate because of financial insecurity.
- I am concerned that if I move abroad I will lose my culture and identity.
- The financial well-being of my family is maintained by the money sent by a family member living abroad.
- Finding a job abroad that I want can be difficult.
- People who move abroad tend to stay abroad.
- People who move abroad have a better life.
Appendix B. Main Characteristics of Respondents
|Graduated general education development (GED)||122|
|Some college or university||43|
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|Neither agree nor disagree||41|
|Q24||I may migrate because I have too many obligations as a member of my family.||0.417|
|Q27||I may migrate because of financial insecurity.||0.405|
|Q25||I may migrate because I have too many obligations as a member of the community I belong to.||0.400|
|Q29||The financial well-being of my family is maintained by the money sent by a family member living abroad.||0.343|
|Q11||How many times a week do you go to church?||0.240|
|Q32||People who move abroad have a better life.||0.238|
|Q26||I may migrate because I or a family member might require medical attention.||0.217|
|Q22||How many of your family members live in abroad?||0.152|
|Q19||Serious environmental issues (such as pollution, waste management, and dengue) exists other than climate change in RMI.||−0.195|
|Question||Increase of Error Rates (%)||Correlation Coefficient|
(Shown in Table 3)
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Fujikura, R.; Nakayama, M.; Sasaki, D.; Taafaki, I.; Chen, J. Family and Community Obligations Motivate People to Immigrate—A Case Study from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 5448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085448
Fujikura R, Nakayama M, Sasaki D, Taafaki I, Chen J. Family and Community Obligations Motivate People to Immigrate—A Case Study from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20(8):5448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085448Chicago/Turabian Style
Fujikura, Ryo, Mikiyasu Nakayama, Daisuke Sasaki, Irene Taafaki, and Jichao Chen. 2023. "Family and Community Obligations Motivate People to Immigrate—A Case Study from the Republic of the Marshall Islands" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20, no. 8: 5448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085448