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An Analysis of the Internal Migration of Indigenous and Non-indigenous Australians


  • Nicholas Biddle

    () (The Australian National University)

  • Boyd Hunter

    (The Australian National University)


Enhancing migration and mobility has been put forward by various commentators as a solution to Indigenous disadvantage in Australia, This paper examined patterns of migration and factors associated with the decision to move and the choice of destination in order to assess the feasibility of this suggestion. The results suggest that Indigenous Australians are less responsive to local economic factors than other Australians, with social and cultural factors appearing to play a particularly significant role in their decision making. It is probable that this reflects a ‘rational’ response to the depressed demand for Indigenous labour across Australia and the greater opportunity for non-market activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Biddle & Boyd Hunter, 2006. "An Analysis of the Internal Migration of Indigenous and Non-indigenous Australians," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(4), pages 321-341, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:4:p:321-341

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabelle Sin & Steven Stillman, 2016. "Economic liberalisation and the mobility of minority groups: evidence from Māori in New Zealand," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    2. Boyd Hunter & Monica Howlett & Matthew Gray, 2015. "The Economic Impact of the Mining Boom on Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 517-530, September.
    3. Kerstin K. Zander & Akhilesh Surjan & Stephen T. Garnett, 2016. "Exploring the effect of heat on stated intentions to move," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 297-308, September.
    4. Alfred Dockery, 2016. "A Wellbeing Approach to Mobility and its Application to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 243-255, January.

    More about this item


    Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers Labor Discrimination; Public Policy; Urban; Rural; and Regional Economics; Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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