Asian immigration to New Zealand and the role of networks in international trade : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Economics at Massey University

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Massey University
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This study investigates the influence of immigration on international trade, one area in which the frequently-claimed economic benefits of immigration may occur. While the literature reviewed is inconclusive on the existence of net economic benefits resulting from immigration, it identifies personal networks as an important asset of some immigrants, particularly ethnic Chinese. The nature of the personal networks which immigrants are part of, and the role these networks play in international trade, are examined, with particular reference to North Asian immigration to New Zealand. The experiences and opinion of recent immigrants, and others with current experience in immigration and trade, are collected through personal interviews and serve as the data for this work. The findings of this study support claims of the importance of personal networks and identify different methods by which New Zealand benefits from the networks of immigrants. This, together with the knowledge and attributes of immigrants, are assets with value and should be treated as a form of human capital. However, the value of these three is potential in nature and must be acted on for the value to be realised. This work also highlights the critical lack of theoretical and conceptual work on immigration, both of which are prerequisites for sound applied research, informed public debate and competent policy and political decision making. This study offers two small contributions to this shortage, a method for measuring the true level of immigration accurately, something which is not happening currently, and develops a definition for the term "New Zealander," useful in the immigration debate and a requirement for the development of any criteria for citizenship selection.
Asians, New Zealand, Commerce and immigration, Emigration and immigration, Chinese immigration, Immigrant networks, International trade