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Trans-Tasman Migration, Transnationalism and Economic Development in Australasia

  • Jacques Poot

    ()

    (University of Waikato)

This paper focuses on migration between Australia and New Zealand, which has exhibited a strong, but cyclical, net movement towards Australia since the late 1960s. A long-term historical perspective is taken. Trans-Tasman migration is also compared with inter-island migration within New Zealand. It is argued that differential economic development, driven by forces of globalisation, agglomeration and technological change, has been primarily responsible for the long-run changes in the distribution of population across the regions of Australasia. Asynchronous business cycles, demographic dynamics, perceptions, return migration and the high international mobility of New Zealanders (of whom one quarter of those aged 40-64 have lived abroad for a year or longer) are responsible for the short-run fluctuations. However, permanent and long-term migration is only a small fraction of total trans-Tasman population movement. Moreover, trans-Tasman migration has not offset New Zealand’s ability to recruit population through immigration. Over the last three decades, the outflow of half a million New Zealand citizens has been compensated by a net inflow of three-quarter million citizens from elsewhere. The number of New Zealanders in Australia is expected to continue to grow but the migration flows become increasingly diversified. One-third of the New Zealanders in Australia re-migrates within four years. Future trends will depend on New Zealand’s ability to boost productivity growth, the real cost of air travel, retirement migration and the impacts of climate change.

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File URL: http://motu-www.motu.org.nz/wpapers/09_05.pdf
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Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 09_05.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_05
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  1. Steven Stillman & David C. Maré, 2007. "The Impact of Immigration on the Geographic Mobility of New Zealanders," Working Papers 07_05, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  2. Brosnan, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 1987. "Modelling the Determinants of Trans-Tasman Migration after World War II," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(183), pages 313-29, December.
  3. Arthur Grimes, 2004. "New Zealand: A Typical Australasian Ecomony?," Working Papers 04_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  4. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jacques Poot & Lynda Sanderson, 2007. "Changes in social security eligibility and the international mobility of New Zealand citizens in Australia," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0712, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Susi Gorbey & Doug James & Jacques Poot, 1999. "Population Forecasting with Endogenous Migration: An Application to Trans-Tasman Migration," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 22(1), pages 69-101, April.
  7. Philip McCann, 2009. "Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 279-314.
  8. John Bryant & David Law, 2004. "New Zealand’s Diaspora and Overseas-born Population," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/13, New Zealand Treasury.
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