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Hometown whanau or big city millennials? The economic geography of graduate destination choices in New Zealand

Author

Listed:
  • Arthur Grimes

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Shaan Badenhorst

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • David C. Maré

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Jacques Poot

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and University of Waikato Author-Name Isabelle Sin
    Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

Abstract

One of the main challenges facing non-metropolitan regions is the attraction and retention of highly-educated young people. A loss of the brightest can lead to reduced business creation, innovation, growth and community wellbeing in such regions. We use rich longitudinal microdata from New Zealand’s integrated administrative data infrastructure to analyse the determinants and geography of the choice of destination of tertiary educated (university and polytechnic) graduates. We address the question of post-student location choice in the context of the approach of Chen and Rosenthal (2008) who introduced a methodology for calculating ‘quality of life’ and ‘quality of business’ indicators for urban areas reflecting consumption and productive amenities respectively. Specifically, we test whether students – of different characteristics (e.g. institutional type and field of study) – locate in places that are regarded as good to live or good to do business. Our estimates are conditional on students’ prior school (home) location and the location of their higher education institution. We find that graduates are attracted to locate in places that have high quality production amenities. High quality consumption amenities have heterogeneous effects on the location choice of students. Creative Arts and Commerce graduates are relatively more likely to locate in places that are attractive to business, consistent with a symbiosis between bohemians and business. Places can leverage their existing (productive or consumption amenity) strengths to act as drawcards to recent graduates. The results are important for local decision-makers who wish to know which factors can attract and retain young qualified people.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Grimes & Shaan Badenhorst & David C. Maré & Jacques Poot, 2020. "Hometown whanau or big city millennials? The economic geography of graduate destination choices in New Zealand," Working Papers 20_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:20_04
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    Keywords

    Innovation; Immigration; Local labour market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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