Twenty years of economics research on trans-Tasman migration

Twenty years of economics research on trans Tasman migration (267 KB)

Published: 2007

Author: Jacques Poot

Event: Motu Public Policy Seminar

Until the 1960s, migration flows between Australia and New Zealand were quite balanced. In 1966 there were around 52,000 New Zealand born living in Australia and 43,000 Australia born living in New Zealand. Since then, net migration has fluctuated strongly but has been predominantly towards Australia. By 2006, about 389,000 New Zealand born (or, more broadly, 471,000 NZ citizens) lived in Australia, compared with 63,000 Australia born in New Zealand.

A 1987 article in The Economic Record identified macro determinants of the flows by mean of an econometric model. This presentation reviews and integrates this and subsequent econometric modelling of trans-Tasman migration.

Aspects covered include the difficulty of forecasting short-run fluctuations and the extent to which the flows can be simply interpreted as internal migration among the 'states' of Australasia. Recent research has become more micro-oriented and has been concerned, using longitudinal data, with the impact of the 2001 changes in social security arrangements in Australia and the links migrants maintain with family and friends through short term visits. The economic impacts of the trans-Tasman flows and policy issues will also be addressed briefly.