• Overview
  • Methodology
  • Current Research Activities
  • History of New Settlers

New Zealand's labour force, more than most in the OECD, is being transformed by international migration. The country is distinctive within the OECD in having both the highest per capita rates of both immigration and emigration. Achieving growth in productivity and innovation, while sustaining an inclusive society that is tolerant of increasing socio-cultural diversity in membership and economic activities, requires a much stronger evidence base on the economic incorporation of migrants and their children. Migration is assuming increasing significance as a process that determines the supply of skilled and unskilled labour within New Zealand's labour market as sub-replacement fertility impacts on the age composition of the population.

The five year Integration of Immigrants Programme (IIP) aims to provide the desired evidence base. It employs leading-edge conceptual and methodological approaches from international as well as local research to conduct innovative analyses of existing and new data bases in order to generate policy-relevant evidence about pathways to economic incorporation in New Zealand for immigrants and their immediate descendants. The research programme updates and significantly expands earlier New Zealand research on migrant economic incorporation with the aim of identifying pathways that overcome barriers to successful integration, and new policy interventions for enhancing outcomes for both the new residents and the host society.

The IIP has two linked objectives. Objective 1, led by population economist Professor Jacques Poot (University of Waikato), draws on data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses of Population and Dwellings (the census) and the Longitudinal Immigrants Survey: New Zealand (LisNZ) to develop an econometric model of the integration of immigrant cohorts that takes account of both the demand and supply factors that determine labour market outcomes. Objective 2, led by sociologist Professor Paul Spoonley (Massey University), makes extensive use of the census and LisNZ data, as well as new information from specialist surveys and case studies, to provide new policy-relevant evidence of pathways to economic incorporation in both the formal labour market as well as in a variety of informal and non-formal ethnic-related settings. The latter include family businesses, non-paid domestic and family economic activity, self-employment, and paid and unpaid community work.

The IIP aims to make a significant contribution to the policy objective of optimising the use of immigrant human capital by quantifying the nature and extent of skill under-utilisation, identifying barriers to effective economic integration of migrants and their families, and developing strategies for enhancing family/household well-being in formal and informal economic settings. The goal is to be able to demonstrate by 2012 that there have been progressive improvements in the utilisation of immigrant human capital, to the advantage of the migrants and the host society, as measured by robust quantitative and qualitative indicators of economic outcomes for immigrants.

Within any given labour market, outcomes for those who are working or seeking work in this labour market depend on a whole range of personal characteristics of these labour force participants (the 'supply side') and also on specific features of the labour market itself (the 'demand side'). Already at the beginning of the 20th century it was noted by Douglas (1919) in the US that whether a person was born abroad or not and what his or her skills were mattered for their labour market outcomes. Much more recently, it has been shown that children of foreign born may also have outcomes in the labour market that differ from comparable people with native born parents (e.g. OECD, 2007).

What is usually reported in the media is the average outcome (earnings, unemployment rates, etc.) for a group of immigrants as compared with a group of New Zealand born. The question is then to what extent any difference in outcomes between these two groups are the result of them having different average characteristics, or whether such differences remain after taking into account all the factors that determine earnings and other labour market outcomes. If a New Zealand born person and an immigrant have identical resumes in terms of education and labour market experience etc., but earn different amounts, then the difference between them can only be explained in terms of information about them that is not on the resume, or because employers don’t consider them to be equal, i.e. there is discrimination.

One of the goals of immigration policy is to achieve economic integration of immigrants. Labour market integration is an important precondition to economic integration. Full labour market integration is achieved when immigrants and New Zealand people with the same characteristics that matter in the labour market (their so-called 'human capital' characteristics, such as age, education and experience) have the same labour market outcomes. Economic integration is broader than labour market integration and is concerned with whether immigrants and comparable New Zealand born do not only have the same labour market outcomes, but also reach the same levels of economic wellbeing in terms of, for example, the ability to own a home or save for retirement.

Objective 1 of the Integration of Immigrants Programme (IIP) is primarily concerned with labour market integration, although some aspects of broader economic integration may be considered as well.

Objective 1 of IIP uses econometric modelling to quantify and explain differences in labour market outcomes between immigrants and the New Zealand born population. Because of limitations in data availability in New Zealand, the focus will be on first generation immigrants only (those born abroad) and not on second or later generations.

An important predictor of any difference in labour market outcomes between immigrants and comparable New Zealand born people is the number of years the former have been in the host country. Generally speaking, the longer an immigrant works in New Zealand, the more they 'catch up' to the New Zealanders. This is also referred to as economic 'assimilation', 'adaptation' or 'convergence' in the literature. The first to report evidence of earnings catch up was a US study by Barry Chiswick entitled 'The effect of Americanization on the earnings of foreign-born men' (Chiswick, 1978). This study and many subsequent ones find that, in a cross-section of immigrants, those with the least time in the host country experience the largest gap in earnings between them and comparable locally born workers. The gap reduces with increasing years in the host labour market and there is an equalising for some groups.

The first formal analysis of the earnings gap between immigrants and the New Zealand born was by Jacques Poot in his article 'Adaptation of migrants in the New Zealand labor market' (Poot, 1993). Poot found that particularly during their first five years in New Zealand earnings of immigrants grew much faster than those of comparable New Zealand born people. In a much more extensive econometric study Winkelmann and Winkelmann (1998) reconfirmed an entry disadvantage of migrant groups in the labour market, with subsequent convergence to outcomes for comparable New Zealand born people. However, the initial disadvantage became bigger during the 1990s for migrants from non-English speaking countries. Winkelmann and Winkelmann (1998) used formal econometric modelling of the type that will also be used in IIP. Boyd (2003) updated their modelling descriptively by analysing multi-way cross tabulations of the 1996 and 2001 censuses. Like Winkelmann and Winkelmann, Boyd also detected a disadvantage of migrants from non-English speaking countries, but found that their situation had improved in 2001 as compared with 1996. Recently, Gibson et al. (2007) used econometric models to explain wealth differences between immigrants and the New Zealand born, using the 2001 Household Saving Survey. They found that differences in age, education, income and inheritances can only partially explain differences in wealth between NZ born couples and migrant couples.

The initial earnings disadvantage of immigrants has many potential causes. They include:

  1. The skills of immigrants are not immediately transferable to New Zealand, because of different technologies, work practices, etc.

  2. Immigrants may have difficulty in communicating in the workplace when they are not native speakers of English.

  3. Immigrants may have limited knowledge of the New Zealand labour market. Additionally, many jobs are obtained through extensive social networks that new immigrants do not have in New Zealand. Consequently, they may end up searching longer for jobs or accept a job that is not a good match to their abilities.

  4. Some foreign qualifications may not be recognised, which may prevent immigrants from obtaining a job in their usual occupation.

  5. Cultural factors may influence how immigrants 'compete' with the New Zealand born population (for example, they may be uncomfortable with ‘selling oneself’ at job interviews).

  6. Labour markets tend to operate differently across industries, occupations or geographical areas. In some labour markets (for example in geographically remote areas or in industries dominated by a few firms) employers may have more influence over employment conditions than in more competitive labour markets. Because immigrants may cluster in different labour markets from the New Zealand born (they are often concentrated in certain industries in metropolitan areas), they may face different labour market conditions from the latter.

  7.  Employers have imperfect information about job applicants. This may lead them to treat a migrant job applicant unfavourably if this migrant belongs to a group that is perceived to have bad labour market outcomes (such as low skills, low productivity, high turnover). This is referred to as 'statistical discrimination'.

  8. Employers or fellow employees may dislike working with particular immigrants for ethnic or cultural reasons. OECD (2007) concludes that there is evidence of significant discrimination in hiring new employees. There may also be discrimination in the internal labour market, i.e. in terms of prospects for promotion. It is very difficult to identify the extent of such discrimination, because it is often justified by employers in terms of foreign qualifications or experience not being comparable to local qualifications or experience.

It should be noted that the general pattern that immigrants earn less upon arrival may not apply to all immigrants. Particularly in labour markets where there are severe shortages of qualified New Zealanders, immigration policy aims at recruiting qualified people from abroad. Because New Zealand competes in a global market for ‘talent’, immigrants in such markets may need to be offered globally-determined wages and be paid already upon arrival a salary that is higher than that of their New Zealand born counterparts (whose ‘bargaining power’ to obtain a similar wage may be weakened by strong ties to New Zealand that lower their geographic mobility). In this case, we can observe that some recent arrivals will earn more than comparable New Zealanders.

As noted earlier, research in New Zealand and elsewhere shows that, when observed in a particular year, migrants who have lived longer in the host country in that year than recent arrivals have better labour market outcomes. A considerable debate has emerged in the literature as to whether the observed earnings catch-up in such a cross-section of people is due to an improvement in earnings with increasing years of residence in the host country, or simply due to a deterioration in the ‘human capital’ of successive cohorts of immigrants which leads to more recent immigrants being less productive than the recent immigrants in earlier periods (a cohort of immigrants is a group of immigrants who all arrive in the same calendar year(s)).

Borjas (1985) has convincingly argued that, in the US at least, wage convergence reflects partially a decline in skill levels of more recent cohorts and that the cross-sectional evidence of convergence is therefore to some extent spurious (see Borjas 1999 for a review of the evidence). Spurious earnings catch up observed in a cross section can also be due to selective re-migration of the least successful immigrants. For example, Edin et al. (2000) find, using Swedish longitudinal data, that a failure to adjust for re-migration leads to an overestimation of the rate of labour market integration. This does not imply, however, that cross-sectional evidence of increasing pay with years of residence is non-informative. Chiswick et al. (2005) use the longitudinal survey of immigrants to Australia to find that the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses generate similar findings. This result is important for New Zealand because of the similarity between the two countries in the points-based immigration criteria. Objective 1 of IIP will be able to test to what extent New Zealand results reconfirm those of Australia or detect spurious assimilation as in the US and European literature.

The basic methodology for estimating earnings catch up is the specification of a so-called earnings equation that explains the earnings of an individual in terms of human capital variables, augmented with immigrant-specific and labour market-specific characteristics. Earnings equations were first pioneered by Mincer (1974). By comparing earnings equations for the immigrants with those for the New Zealand born population, it is possible to say to what extent the earnings of immigrants and the New Zealand born would differ if they had equal characteristics and sometimes why. There are a number of factors that can be considered with the available data:

  1. Year of arrival. This matters for two different reasons. One is that the state of the economy in the year of arrival may have a long-lasting impact on the migrant’s earnings (e.g. those arriving in a recession may experience a long initial spell of unemployment that can have a ‘scarring’ effect that economists call a path dependency). OECD (2007) concludes that immigrants who arrive during adverse economic conditions or who end up in areas with high unemployment tend to do poorly on arrival and less well thereafter. On the other hand, year of arrival may be linked to unmeasured migrant skills and abilities that could change over time as residency criteria change. Economists refer to this as a 'cohort quality' effect.

  2. Year of observation. Besides the explicitly considered migrant characteristics in earnings equations, such as formal education and training (the supply side), there could be an impact of the state of the labour market in the year of observation through demand factors such as the business cycle and economic restructuring.

  3. Years since arrival. This is the variable of which the coefficient directly measures the impact of labour market integration, in terms of the gaining of language skills, information acquisition, on-the-job training, etc.

  4. Age in the year of observation. This is a proxy for overall (pre-migration and post-migration) labour market experience. Of course, if people withdraw from the labour market (for example, to have a child or for a 'gap year') then it would be better to have a measure of actual labour market experience, but this information is often unavailable.

  5. Age at arrival. This variable is particularly important to identify the 1.5 generation. They are immigrants who arrive as children and who are obtaining some education in the host country. Among those arriving before age 18, the younger the age at arrival, the less the earnings gap is expected to be. However, even adults arriving at a relatively young age may have an advantage in the labour market relative to older arrivals in that younger migrants may be more flexible and geographically mobile and may also find it easier to adapt culturally.

While there are theoretical reasons for expecting each of the five factors noted above to impact on immigrant earnings, these factors cannot be all identified simultaneously in pooled cross-sections of data without additional information or assumptions. In simple terms, one identification problem is due to the fact that the calendar year of arrival is uniquely determined by the calendar year of observation and the number of years in the country. Similarly, age at the time of arrival equals current age minus the number of years in the country.

Two assumptions are commonly adopted in the literature to overcome these identification problems. The first is that the period effect (year of observation, number 2 above) can be assumed to be the same for immigrants as for the New Zealand born. Effectively, this says that if in a recession wages decrease in real terms, they do so at the same rate for immigrants as for the New Zealand born (after controlling for all other determinants of pay). The period effect for immigrants can then be estimated by running earnings regressions for the New Zealand born. The plausibility of the assumption can of course be debated, but may be difficult to test except, for example, by checking if in a recession immigrants in a firm are more likely to be laid off than comparable New Zealand born workers.

The second assumption to identify the five effects mentioned above is to assume that the effect of age in the year of observation (number 4 above) is the same for the immigrants as for the New Zealand born. Borjas (1999) convincingly argues that this is not plausible. The labour market experience gained by an adult immigrant is the sum of experience in the home country and experience in New Zealand. Experience in the home country is unlikely to be valued equally by employers as experience in New Zealand. If we assume that the effect of age on earnings differs between immigrants and the New Zealand born, we need to drop another variable from the earnings equation. A common practice is to drop the variable age at arrival (number 5 above). It is then still possible to identify the effect of arriving at a very young age by separately running earnings regressions for the 1.5 generation from the earnings equation for first generation immigrants. Even among first generation immigrants, it would be possible to separately estimate the determinants of earnings of those who arrived before they reached, say, age 30, as compared with those who arrived after age 30.

Objective 1 of IIP will first estimate the earnings of immigrants as compared with the New Zealand born by using 1996, 2001 and 2006 census data. There are some disadvantages in using census data. The first is that the census only reports total income and not actual labour market earnings. This problem can be partially overcome by focussing only on fulltime salary and wage earners, who are likely to have limited other sources of income. The second problem with census data is that we cannot link observations on individuals across censuses, i.e. the census is not a longitudinal data base. For example, this means that when we compare a particular group of immigrants in New Zealand in 2001 for 5-9 years, we cannot assume that they are exactly the same people as the immigrants in the 2006 census who have been in New Zealand 10-14 years. The extent to which we can measure earnings catch up between 2001 and 2006 is in this case contaminated by selected emigration of the immigrants (the effect of mortality is quantitatively negligible).

Because of these weaknesses, IIP will also use three waves of the Longitudinal Immigration Survey of New Zealand (LisNZ). In LisNZ the same people are followed over time, and labour market earnings are reported separately from other earnings. Moreover, the extent to which labour market outcomes are linked to the criteria under which the immigrants obtained residency in New Zealand can also be investigated.

Nonetheless, the census data do have an advantage over LisNZ in another respect. The advantage of the census is that it enables estimates of earnings equations for the New Zealand born that can be directly compared to those for the immigrants. LisNZ is a longitudinal survey restricted to immigrants and does not provide information on the New Zealand born (or on the Australia born who have free access to the New Zealand labour market under the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement). A longitudinal survey of labour market outcomes for the New Zealand born is provided by SoFIE (Survey of Families, Income and Employment) but these data are not directly comparable to those of LisNZ.

Using the census data it is possible to identify a 'true' labour market integration effect, by comparing the estimated returns to experience (the coefficient of the age variable in the earnings equation) between immigrants and the native born. The coefficient of age is likely to be bigger for the New Zealand born than for immigrants (because of only partial recognition in New Zealand of experience gained by immigrants in the home country, as noted earlier). When the difference between these two coefficients is deducted from the coefficient of the effect of years in New Zealand on earnings of immigrants, a true measure of labour market integration can be obtained (reflecting improving language skills, on the job training, and more efficient job search among longer resident immigrants).

It should be stressed that this advantage of census data does not render the LisNZ data less useful for the study of economic assimilation, far from it. The ability to link individuals across waves of LisNZ provides a powerful way to efficiently estimate the effect of years in New Zealand on labour market integration of immigrants and to reduce the imprecision and potential bias in the regression equations due to the presence of unmeasured variables, such as the effect of differences in innate ability between individuals. Furthermore, LisNZ also provides a much larger range of explanatory variables (such as post-settlement training undergone) or policy-related variables (such as assistance provided upon arrival). In addition, with the LisNZ data it is possible to ask whether immigrants who are for some reason no longer observed in the second or third wave differ systematically from those observed across all three waves. This would allow a New Zealand test of a common finding overseas that re-migrants are those who had the lowest earnings.

There are nonetheless additional benefits to the census data as well. The number of observations obtained from the census is much larger than from the LisNZ sample, so that the former is more likely to yield statistically significant effects. In addition, it is possible with the census to construct detailed information on households or families by linking individual records within such families or households. In summary, both data sets have advantages and disadvantages for the modelling of economic and labour market integration. The strength of the IIP research is that it combines 'the best of both worlds'.

Besides focussing on earnings, as in the review above, the same issues apply to other aspects of labour market integration, such as labour force participation or unemployment rates. These aspects were also considered by Winkelmann and Winkelmann (1998). In addition, they also estimated equations for males and females separately. There is nonetheless plenty of scope for extending the previous econometric modelling in New Zealand. Winkelmann and Winkelmann suggested themselves the following six extensions:

  1. Identification of the effect of country of birth on labour market integration. (*)

  2. Measurement of the effect of geographic/occupational concentration (clusters) of particular groups of immigrants. (*)

  3. Measurement of the role of 'push factors' in the sending country at the time of departure. (*)

  4. An analysis of the extent of variation in outcomes across 'very similar' immigrants. (*)

  5. An analysis of the extent and persistence of 'occupational downgrading'.

  6. A comparison of labour market outcomes between first, second and third generation immigrants.

The following would also be promising extensions to the analysis of economic integration:

  1. An analysis of the difference in earnings catch-up between those who apply for permanent residency abroad and those who arrive on a temporary work permit. (*)

  2. The identification of selection bias in international re-migration of immigrants. (*)

  3. The role of English language ability in economic integration (this information was only available for the 1996 census at the time of the Winkelmann and Winkelmann study). (*)

  4. Identification of differences in economic integration by visa category: economic, family-related and humanitarian.

  5. Estimation of the effects of post-settlement investment in education and training by the migrants and the difference in rates of return between pre-and post-migration human capital. (*)

  6. Assessment of the effectiveness of post-settlement immigrant services on economic integration. (*)


Finally, other interesting issues include:

  1. The importance of family characteristics (e.g. birthplace and human capital of partner, the presence of children) and networks in the initial earnings gap and the subsequent earnings gradient.

  2. The extent to which economic integration is linked to entrepreneurship, risk taking and self-employment. (*)

  3. The importance of macroeconomic conditions at the time of arrival (i.e. the extent to which there is ‘sensitivity to initial conditions’ and ‘path dependency’ (this was only partially investigated by Winkelmann and Winkelmann). (*)

  4. Migrants’ saving behaviour and asset accumulation (first investigated by Gibson et al. 2007).

  5. A combination of the approaches of the econometric literature on migrant integration and discrimination (e.g. Nielsen et al. 2004). (*)

  6. Analysis of earnings of New Zealand born return migrants.

  7. The incidence of underemployment of immigrants in the form of ‘excessive’ part-time employment.


Timeline for modelling of immigrant economic integration in IIP:

2007-08
Literature review and meta analysis of international literature on economic integration of migrants; exploratory regression models of immigrant labour market outcomes

2008-09
Full update and extension of the Winkelmann & Winkelmann (1998) study with 1996, 2001 and 2006 data

2009-10
A review of methodologies of  econometric modelling of immigrant economic integration by means of longitudinal panel data and exploratory regression models with LisNZ data

2010-11
A full econometric analysis of economic integration using LisNZ wave 1 and 2 data; including innovations in the analysis of immigrant labour market outcomes

2011-12
Incorporation of LisNZ wave 3 data into the econometric analysis

 

References

Borjas, G.J. (1985) 'Assimilation, changes in cohort quality and the earnings of immigrants', Journal of Labor Economics 3(4): 463-489.

Borjas, G. J. (1999) 'The Economic Analysis of Immigration', in O. Ashenfelter and D. Card (Eds) Handbook of Labor Economics, Amsterdam: North Holland, 1697-1760.

Boyd, C. (2003) 'Migrants in New Zealand: An Analysis of Labour Market Outcomes for Working Aged Migrants Using 1996 and 2001 Census Data', Wellington: Department of Labour.

Chiswick, B.R. (1978) 'The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-Born Men', Journal of Political Economy 86(5): 897-921.

Chiswick, B.R., Lee Y.L. and Miller P.W. (2005) 'Immigrant Earnings: a Longitudinal Analysis', Review of Income and Wealth 51(4): 485-503.

Douglas, P.H. (1919) 'Is the New Immigration More Unskilled than the Old?', Journal of the American Statistical Association, 16(June): 393-403.

Edin P.-A., LaLonde R.J. and Aslund, O. (2000) 'Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden', Swedish Economic Policy Review, 7(2): 163-204.

Gibson, J., Le, T. and Stillman, S. (2007) 'What Explains the Wealth Gap Between Immigrants and the New Zealand Born?', Motu Working Paper 07-12, Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

Mincer, J. (1974) Schooling, Experience, and Earnings. New York: Columbia University Press.

Nielsen, H.S., Rosholm, M, Smith, N. and L. Husted (2004) 'Qualifications, Discrimination, or Assimilation? An Extended Framework for Analysing Immigrant Wage Gaps', Empirical Economics, 29(4): 855-883.

OECD (2007) 'Key Findings on the Labour market Integration of Immigrants', Chapter 1 in: Jobs for Immigrants, Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Poot, J. (1993) 'Adaptation of Migrants in the New Zealand Labor Market' International Migration Review 27(1): 121-139.

Winkelmann, L. and Winklemann, R. (1998b). 'Immigrants in the New Zealand Labour Market: A Cohort Analysis using 1981, 1986 and 1996 Census Data', New Zealand Labour Market Bulletin, 182: 34-70.

This Objective focuses on immigrants who have arrived since July 1998, the year in which a more explicit focus on the “economic” component of New Zealand’s residence approval system was introduced. There are four major components to the methodology for this objective.

  1. Analysis of the 2001 and 2006 census data. The analysis of census data will use a range of approaches to explore the extent to which people who have arrived in New Zealand since 1998 are engaged in employment (including self-employment). This analysis will complement the econometric analysis that underpins the research for Objective 1. The employment situations of different years of arrival cohorts (1998-2005/06) will be compared for ethnic, birthplace, age group and for males and females living in Auckland, Hamilton, other main urban areas, other urban areas, and rural areas. Returning New Zealanders (living overseas in 2001 and resident in NZ in 2006) will be used as a control group. The use of a cohort analysis adds another dimension to the conventional cross-sectional analysis of the economic experiences of immigrants and New Zealand-born residents.

  2. Analysis of the LisNZ data. This analysis will track the employment experiences of immigrants who arrived after the immigration system was changed from the beginning of 2004. The three waves of the LisNZ provide a significant amount of information on the employment experiences of recent migrants after 6 months, 18 months and 3 years of living in New Zealand. A range of employment pathways will be constructed using these data, and variations between groups of migrants from different source countries, birthplaces, and entry cohorts (controlled for age and sex) will be examined. Data from the three waves will also be compared with the census data in terms of immigrant economic outcomes.

  3. Survey of immigrant workers and immigrant business owners. A total of 100 immigrant workers and 100 immigrant business owners from five immigrant groups (British, South African, Indian, PRC Chinese and Korean) will be interviewed in Auckland and Hamilton in 2008/09, and re-interviewed in 2010/11. The aim is to identify barriers and opportunities to the successful integration of skilled migrants and their families. The interviews with immigrant business owners (self-employed, both no employees and with employees) will explore their economic strategies and activities, the nature and mobilisation of resources, and their relations with their own ethnic community and others.

  4. Case studies. The objective of the case studies is to supplement findings from the analyses of census, LisNZ and survey data by providing a deeper understanding of the circumstances (social and economic) surrounding the pathways to employment amongst different groups of migrants.

    • Transitions to employment. This case study, which builds on research by Bedford & Ho, will involve using the Approvals Management System (AMS) data base which contains detailed information on all migrant applicants and approvals by visa/permit category since July 1997. Cohorts of migrants who arrived in New Zealand as students, temporary workers or working holiday permit holders and who have subsequently become permanent residents will be identified from the data base and their pathways to employment will be examined.
       
    • Ethnic precincts in Auckland. This case study will focus on immigrant enclave/precinct activities in Northcote, Sandringham, Henderson and Howick.  Ethnographic interviews with immigrant business owners who are located with co-ethnics in precincts (10-15 in each location) will focus on the nature of their economic and social activity, including the nature and strength of ties with co-ethnics and others in relation to information, capital, supplies, consumption, employment and labour. Information is sought on the nature and economic significance of ethnic sub-economics, domestically and transnationally. Consumers at each site will also be surveyed as part of this case study.

    • Migrant networks. This case study focuses on immigrant communities who, while not clustered in precincts, maintain economically/culturally significant networks, especially via computer-mediated communication. Ethnographic interviews (15-20) will establish the nature of these information networks for two immigrant communities (South African, PRC Chinese) and how they contribute to the mobilisation of immigrant resources, relations with co-ethnics, locally and internationally, and NZ institutions/information.

    • Lifestyle migrants. The final case study will explore the pathways taken by migrants who have come to live in New Zealand mainly for lifestyle reasons. Information will be obtained from participants (15-20 interviews) about their experiences of inclusion/exclusion, mobility patterns, transnational linkages, investment behaviours and human capital and the impact of these on the 1.5/second generation.

Literature Review

Meta-analysis of international literature on economic assimilation of migrants

Quantitative Data Analysis l

Econometric analyses of labour market outcomes of immigrants using 1996, 2001 and 2006 census data

Quantitative Data Analysis ll

Further development of econometric analysis of migrant labour market outcomes using census data, and micro data from other sources, including analyses of changes in labour force participation, unemployment and self-employment

Quantitative Data Analysis lll

Analysis of the extent of variation in outcomes across migrant groups

Census Data Analysis

Substantive analysis of the employment outcomes of different migrant groups defined by ethnicity and birthplace from the 2001 and 2006 census

Case studies

Ethnic Precincts in Auckland

LisNZ Data Analysis

Focusing specifically on pre-migration employment experiences and immediate post-migration experience of work in New Zealand

Qualitative Research

Interviews with immigrant workers and immigrant business owners from the PRC Chinese, Indian, Korean, British and South African migrant communities

The New Settlers research programme (1998-2006) was funded by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and the Public Good Science Fund (PGSF). The research focused on immigrant settlement in New Zealand, and aimed to contribute to the attainment of three broad, interrelated outcomes:

  1. Development of a balanced, well integrated institutional structure of immigration consisting of:

    • an immigration policy regulating entry

    • an effective post-arrival immigrant policy geared to the economic, social and cultural needs of migrants (assisting them to adjust and integrate)

    • an ethnic relations policy appropriate to a situation of emerging multiculturalism.

  2. A reduction in the difficulties experienced by immigrants in the process of settlement.

  3. An increase in the benefits accruing to New Zealand from its targeted immigration programme.