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    Is welfare the magnet that draws the migrants? Lessons from Australasia

    14 October 2015 - Professor Jacques Poot presented a lecture titled "Is welfare the magnet that draws the migrants? Lessons from Australasia" at the University of Southampton as part of the NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professorship lecture programme 2015.

    There is considerable evidence that people take welfare state provisions into account when making migration decisions, but it is not always easy to separate the effects of changes in social security provision from myriad other push and pull factors. This lecture examined evidence that economists call a 'natural experiment': a major policy shock that allows a comparison of people who were affected with people who were not. The lecture focused on how the 2001 removal of labour market-related social security eligibility affected New Zealand migrants to Australia. UK migrants to Australia, who were not affected by the policy changes, provided a 'control group'. New Zealand migrants arriving after the policy changes were more likely to visit their home country temporarily, or return permanently. Implications of this finding for the case of the European Union were explored.

    Jacques Poot is the Professor of Population Economics at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), University of Waikato, and New Zealand's leading researcher on economic impacts of international migration. Professor Poot has conducted large scale projects in New Zealand and in Europe on immigrant integration and on the socio-economic consequences of migration at national and regional levels. He is currently leading a government-funded project called 'Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand' (2014-2020). In 2013, Professor Poot was the recipient of the prestigious NZIER Economics Award which recognises economic research that has been influential for public policy. He is an elected fellow at learned academies that include the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Europaea and the Regional Science Association International.

    The lecture, hosted by Dr Jakub Bijak and jointly organised by CPC took place in the Murray Lecture Theatre 1067 in Building 58 between 6:30 and 8:00pm. This was followed by a drinks reception in the foyer. Entry to the lecture was free.

    A film of the lecture and discussion can be found here and the lecture slides can be seen here

    To find out more about the event and the NZ-UK Link foundation, please visit the NZ-UK Link foundation event page or read the lecture programme flyer.

    Posted 17/09/2015 10:21