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The Impact of Immigration on the Labour Market Outcomes of New Zealanders


Author Info

  • David C Maré

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Steven Stillman

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


This paper uses data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 New Zealand Census to examine how the supply of immigrants in particular skill-groups affects the employment and wages of the New Zealand-born and of earlier migrants. We first estimate simple CES production functions that allow for substitutability between workers from different skill-groups, but assume that, within skill-groups, migrants are perfect substitutes for non-migrants. We next estimate hierarchical CES production functions that allow for substitutability between immigrant and non-immigrant workers within skillgroups, but constrain the patterns of wage impacts on different factors in response to changing factor shares, and that natives and migrants are not substitutable across skill-groups. Then, we extend the previous literature by estimating a Generalised Leontief production function that allows for a less restrictive relationship between changes in factors shares and changes in wages within a particular level of the production function and for substitution and complementarity between immigrant and nonimmigrant workers both between and across skill-groups. Regardless of the model being estimated, we find little evidence that immigrants negatively affect either the wages or employment opportunities of the average New Zealand-born worker. However, we find some evidence that increases in the number of high-skilled recent migrants have small negative impacts on the wages of high-skilled New Zealand-born workers, which are offset by small positive impacts on the wages of medium-skilled New Zealanders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 09_11.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_11

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Related research

Keywords: Immigration; Wage Impacts; New Zealand; Labour Market Areas;

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Cited by:
  1. David Mare & Richard Fabling & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Immigration and Innovation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1110, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Steven Stillman & David C. Maré, 2008. "Housing Markets and Migration: Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers 08_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  3. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. S. Longhi & P. Nijkamp & J. Poot, 2010. "Joint impacts of immigration on wages and employment: review and meta-analysis," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 355-387, December.


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