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Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Mobility of Recent Migrants to New Zealand


  • David C. Maré

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Steven Stillman

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Melanie Morten

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


Twenty-three percent of New Zealand's population is foreign-born and forty percent of migrants have arrived in the past ten years. Newly arriving migrants tend to settle in spatially concentrated areas and this is especially true in New Zealand. This paper uses census data to examine the characteristics of local areas that attract new migrants and gauges the extent to which migrants are choosing to settle where there are the best labour market opportunities as opposed to where there are already established migrant networks. We estimate McFadden's choice models to examine both the initial location choice made by new migrants and the internal mobility of this cohort of migrants five years later. This allows us to examine whether the factors that affect settlement decision change as migrants spend more time in New Zealand.

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Maré & Steven Stillman & Melanie Morten, 2007. "Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Mobility of Recent Migrants to New Zealand," Working Papers 07_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:07_11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Saiz, Albert, 2007. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 345-371, March.
    2. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    3. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
    4. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    5. Jacques Poot, 2005. "Measuring the Economic Impact of Immigration: A Scoping Paper," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-48, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
    6. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Where Immigrants Settle in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1231, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Papps, Kerry L. & Newell, James O., 2002. "Identifying Functional Labour Market Areas in New Zealand: A Reconnaissance Study Using Travel-to-Work Data," IZA Discussion Papers 443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Geoffrey T. F. Brooke & Anthony M. Endres & Alan J. Rogers, 2016. "The Economists and New Zealand Population: Problems and Policies 1900–1980s," Working Papers 2016-08, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    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. Tu, Jiong, 2010. "The Effect of Enclave Residence on the Labour Force Activities of Immigrants in Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 4744, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Brian C. Cadena & Brian K. Kovak, 2016. "Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 257-290, January.
    6. Julie Fry, 2014. "Migration and Macroeconomic Performance in New Zealand: Theory and Evidence," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/10, New Zealand Treasury.
    7. David C Maré & Ruth M Pinkerton & Jacques Poot, 2015. "Residential Assimilation of Immigrants: A Cohort Approach," Working Papers 15_20, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

    More about this item


    Immigration; Settlement; Mobility; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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