IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Modelling Regional Labour Market Adjustment in New Zealand


  • Wai Kin Choy
  • David C Mare
  • Peter Mawson

    () (Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Wai Kin Choy)
    Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust (Mare)
    The Treasury (Mawson))


This paper adopts a vector autoregressive (VAR) approach to analyse the labour market adjustment mechanisms for 12 New Zealand regions over the period 1985 to 2001. It examines the effects of a region-specific shock to employment on itself, the unemployment rate, the participation rate, and the wage rate. The role of migration as a channel of regional labour market adjustment is also inferred. We find that adjustment occurs predominantly through inter-regional migration although the unemployment and participation rates also play a role. Wages, on the other hand, account for very little adjustment. The importance of inter-regional migration in New Zealand matches the results found in Sweden, but stands in contrast to the picture in many European countries. Migration appears to be a more dominant adjustment channel compared to the US and Australian cases. However, this has to be placed into context – New Zealand regions are much smaller in terms of population size.

Suggested Citation

  • Wai Kin Choy & David C Mare & Peter Mawson, 2002. "Modelling Regional Labour Market Adjustment in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/01, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:02/01

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-442, October.
    2. Decressin, Jorg & Fatas, Antonio, 1995. "Regional labor market dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1627-1655, December.
    3. Timothy J. Bartik, 2003. "Local Economic Development Policies," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 03-91, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    5. Andrew Coleman, 1999. "Economic Integration and Monetary Union," Treasury Working Paper Series 99/06, New Zealand Treasury.
    6. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
    7. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    8. David C Maré & Wai Kin Choy, 2001. "Regional Labour Market Adjustment and the Movements of People: A Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/08, New Zealand Treasury.
    9. Sharon McCaw & C John McDermott, 2000. "How New Zealand adjusts to macroeconomic shocks: implications for joining a currency area," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 63, March.
    10. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    11. Antonio Spilimbergo & Eswar S Prasad & Paolo Mauro, 1999. "Perspectives on Regional Unemployment in Europe," IMF Occasional Papers 177, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Hayden Glass & Wai Kin Choy, 2001. "Brain Drain or Brain Exchange?," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/22, New Zealand Treasury.
    13. Fredriksson, Peter, 1999. "The Dynamics of Regional Labor Markets and Active Labor Market Policy: Swedish Evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 623-648, October.
    14. Guy Debelle & James Vickery, 1999. "Labour Market Adjustment: Evidence on Interstate LabourMobility," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(3), pages 249-263.
    15. 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).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken & Arthur Grimes, 2004. "Land Taxes and Revenue Needs as Communities Grow and Decline: Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers 04_01, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    2. John Janssen, 2002. "Long-term fiscal projections and their relationship with the intertemporal budget constraint: An application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    3. David C. Maré & Jason Timmins, 2003. "Moving to Jobs?," Working Papers 03_07, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    4. Jacques Poot & Bill Cochrane & Sandra Baxendine, 2005. "Description and Spatial Analysis of Employment Change in New Zealand Regions 1986-2001," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-57, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
    5. Michelle Poland & David C Maré, 2005. "Defining Geographic Communities," Urban/Regional 0509016, EconWPA.
    6. Stillman, Steven & Velamuri, Malathi & Aitken, Andrew, 2010. "The long-run impact of New Zealand's structural reform on local communities," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 432-448, December.
    7. Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken & Arthur Grimes, 2004. "Land Taxes and Revenue Needs as Communities Grow and," Public Economics 0403001, EconWPA.

    More about this item


    Regional labour market adjustment; Internal migration;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:02/01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web and Publishing Team, The Treasury). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.