Trans-Tasman Migration, Transnationalism and Economic Development in Australasia

31 Pages Posted: 26 May 2009

See all articles by Jacques Poot

Jacques Poot

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics; University of Waikato - National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Trans-Tasman migration, Australia, New Zealand, economic development

JEL Classification: F22, J61, N97, O15, R23

Suggested Citation

Poot, Jacques, Trans-Tasman Migration, Transnationalism and Economic Development in Australasia (May 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1409863 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1409863

Jacques Poot (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

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Netherlands

University of Waikato - National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis ( email )

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New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

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P.O. Box 24390
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New Zealand

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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