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"Go West, Young Man, Go West!"?

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    Will economic integration lead to skilled citizens being drawn to the larger, richer economic partner? In 1983, Australia and New Zealand signed the Closer Economic Relations Agreement to ensure free trade in goods and services. Was this a modern equivalent of Horace Greeley's famous advice "Go West, young man, go West"? The evidence presented in this paper suggests that Greeley was right; many have indeed gone westward. However, a common labour market has not led to a brain drain. Paradoxically, the effect has been to increase the numbers of lower-skilled migrants from New Zealand and those with higher skills who are older or are not within the approved occupational groupings. The Trans-Tasman picture is further complicated by migration to New Zealand from third countries sufficient to offset the outflow of New Zealand citizens. The imbalance in net migration from New Zealand toward Australia has led to policy tensions. These are discussed briefly.

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    Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 01/07.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:01/07
    Contact details of provider: Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
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    1. 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.
    2. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2000. "Immigration Policies and their Impact: The Case of New Zealand and Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. anonymous, 1986. "Migration and the New Zealand labour market," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 49, july.
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