International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses interactions between external risks and the New Zealand economy. The current set of external risks has the potential to be extremely damaging to New Zealand, but two factors would likely mitigate the economic impact. First, the flexible exchange rate regime is a reliable shock absorber and automatic stabilizer from the perspective of GDP, although it leads to a rebalancing between the domestic and external sectors in the economy. Second, net migration flows can reduce the negative impact of lower external demand under some circumstances, such as a growth slowdown in Australia. Fiscal policy could also offset some of the short-term costs of adjustment. Fiscal policy can provide stimulus at relatively small and manageable cost to the already-low government debt to GDP ratio. Moreover, at the current juncture, fiscal policy might need to provide the bulk of policy support against negative shocks, as monetary policy might be ineffective if has become constrained by an effective lower bound on the monetary policy interest rate.
The paper uses a large survey (GSOEP) to analyze the labor market performance of immigrants in Germany. It finds that new immigrant workers earn on average 20 percent less than native workers with otherwise identical characteristics. The gap is smaller for immigrants from advanced countries, with good German language skills, and with a German degree, and larger for others. The gap declines gradually over time. Less success in obtaining jobs with higher occupational autonomy explains half of the wage gap. Immigrants are also initially less likely to participate in the labor market and more likely to be unemployed. While participation fully converges after 20 years, immigrants always remain more likely to be unemployed than the native labor force.
Remittances are large and have grown substantially over the past decade in the Pacific region. This primarily reflects the impact of emigration due to low growth and limited employment prospects at home. Many Pacific emigrants settle abroad with their families for long periods, but maintain close links with their relatives, villages and churches. The paper finds that the altruistic motive for remittances remains much stronger in the Pacific region than in the rest of Asia, where investment considerations increasingly appear to predominate, especially for the large share of single citizens working abroad for limited periods.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the effect of international migration on unemployment in New Zealand. The empirical results in this paper suggest that net migration inflows give rise to a fall in the unemployment rate. The paper estimates a system of equations including the unemployment rate, real wage, net migration rate, and labor force participation rate, taking into account the interdependence of the variables. It also examines the impact of exchange rate volatility on export firms’ decisions to hedge foreign exchange exposure.
This Selected Issues paper examines the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the recent acceleration of labor productivity growth in the United States. The analysis reveals that the increase of total factor productivity (TFP) growth is a broad phenomenon that encompasses non-ICT producing sectors, consistent with the view that ICT is a “general purpose technology.” The paper investigates whether the productivity boom may have dampened employment in recent years. It also assesses the contribution of immigrants to the United State economy.
As labor has become more mobile in today's world, it is important to understand the income and welfare of nationals regardless of their residence. This paper develops two key concepts, gross migration-corrected product (GMP) and welfare cost of migration, and calculates them using New Zealand data. Growth performance measured by New Zealanders' income has been clearly better than suggested by the GDP. The welfare cost associated with a marginal change in the tax rate appears quite high.
This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that since early 2001, domestic demand growth has recovered in New Zealand and contributed to sustain GDP growth in the wake of weaker net exports, owing to the economic slowdown in the rest of the world. The sharp rise in economic activity pushed the economy to a high level of resource use, as capacity utilization rates rose markedly in 2001. An improvement in business and consumer confidence in the first months of 2002 suggests that domestic demand is likely to maintain its momentum in the first half of 2002.
This Selected Issues paper presents an empirical comparison of New Zealand’s growth performance with that of Australia during the post-reform period. The paper shows that most of the divergence in income per capita between the two countries has been the result of lower accumulation of capital per hour worked, and to a lesser extent, lower efficiency in utilizing resources in New Zealand. The paper also examines how migration has affected the income and welfare of New Zealand nationals.
This paper investigates the effects of the flows of immigrant workers on the French labor market between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Using a system of equations for unemployment, labor-force participation, the real wage, and the immigration rate, it is shown that, in the long run, legal and amnestied immigrant workers, and their families, lower the unemployment rate permanently. In the short run, the arrival of immigrants increases unemployment slightly with an impact similar to that of an increase in domestic labor-force participation. The composition of immigration flows matters, and the proportion of skilled and less-skilled workers should remain balanced.