Population Studies Centre (PSC) Discussion Papers

The Population Studies Centre (PSC) was established at the University of Waikato in 1982 and transitioned into The National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis in 2010. The research programmes of the PSC addressed the most central questions of population studies relating to demographic transitions and to population distribution, and has linked these to economic, political and social transformations. This collection houses the discussion papers published by the Centre.

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 38
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    A stochastic sub-national population projection methodology with an application to the Waikato region of New Zealand
    (Working Paper, The University of Waikato, 2010-03) Cameron, Michael Patrick; Poot, Jacques
    In this paper we use a stochastic population projection methodology at the sub-national level as an alternative to the conventional deterministic cohort-component method. We briefly evaluate the accuracy of previous deterministic projections and find that there is a tendency for these to be conservative: under-projecting fast growing populations and over-projecting slow growing ones. We generate probabilistic population projections for five demographically distinct administrative areas within the Waikato region of New Zealand, namely Hamilton City, Franklin District, Thames-Coromandel District, Otorohanga District and South Waikato District. Although spatial interaction between the areas is not taken into account in the current version of the methodology, a consistent set of cross-regional assumptions is used. The results are compared to official sub-national deterministic projections. The accuracy of sub-national population projections is in New Zealand strongly affected by the instability of migration as a component of population change. Unlike the standard cohort-component methodology, in which net migration levels are projected, the key parameters of our stochastic methodology are age-gender-area specific net migration rates. The projected range of rates of population growth is wider for smaller regions and/or regions more strongly affected by net migration. Generally, the identified and modelled uncertainty makes the traditional ‘mid range’ scenario of sub-national population projections of limited use for policy analysis or planning beyond a relatively short projection horizon. Directions for further development of a stochastic sub-national projection methodology are suggested.
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    International migration in a sea of islands: Challenges and opportunities for insular Pacific spaces
    (Working Paper, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre, 2008-07) Bedford, Richard; Hugo, Graeme
    Our contribution to the International Conference “Connecting Worlds: Emigration, Immigration and Development in Insular Spaces”, held in the Azores between 28 and 30 May 2008, examines contemporary mobility of Pacific peoples in a transnational context with reference to processes of out-migration, return, re-migration and the complex systems of circular mobility between island countries as well as to and from countries on the Pacific rim. There are some significant differences between parts of the Pacific region in terms of the access their peoples have to work and residence opportunities outside their island countries. These are reviewed with reference to some major challenges for development in the region: rapid growth of youthful populations; high levels of unemployment; limited markets for local produce; unsustainable levels of extraction of timber, fish and mineral resources; changing climates; and unstable governance systems in some countries.
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    International trade negotiations and the trans-border movement of people: A review of the literature
    (Working Paper, 2008-06) Strutt, Anna; Poot, Jacques; Dubbeldam, Jason
    We review the international and New Zealand literatures on the two-way interaction between international migration and agreements designed to enhance cross-border trade or investment. Benefits and costs of migration, to the extent that these may feature in trade and migration negotiations, are discussed. While trade and migration can be substitutes in some contexts, they will be complements in other contexts. Liberalisation of services and the movement of people are likely to offer much more significant gains than liberalisation of remaining barriers to goods trade. Significant scope for liberalisation under GATS mode 4 (the movement of natural persons) may remain. However, temporary migration is already promoted on a unilateral and bilateral basis within immigration policy frameworks that may provide greater flexibility than GATS mode 4. With respect to both trade and migration, the more diverse the exchanging countries are, the greater the economic benefits tend to be. However, greater diversity may also imply greater social costs. This paradox of diversity needs to be addressed through appropriate social policies accompanying enhanced temporary and permanent migration.
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    Retirement provision for New Zealand women: The relative role of demographic influence
    (Working Paper, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre, 1999-08) Marsault, Anyes
    This research contributes to our knowledge of retirement provision by clarifying the obstacles that women face in relation to old age provision. By using multivariate analysis and therefore by controlling for confounding effects, this study has isolated the particular influence of important socio-economic factors. Through continued participation in the labour market, despite their childbearing roles, and the goal of enhancing the quality of their employment, women have an opportunity to strengthen their ability to provide sufficiently themselves for their own old age but this is still even today not a certainty or a source of unlimited support.
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    Migrants in their family contexts: Application of a methodology
    (Working Paper, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre, 2000-06) Ho, Elsie; Bedford, Richard; Bedford, Charlotte
    The composition of immigrant families is a topic which has attracted considerable public and political attention in recent years. In the late 1980s concern was expressed over the size of some households of Pacific Island peoples in New Zealand. In the 1990s a more persistent concern has been with the incidence of what have been called ‘astronaut’ families – families where one of the partners is persistently absent overseas. The ‘astronaut’ family phenomenon has been most commonly associated with Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan. This report uses a novel methodology to examine the incidence of ‘astronaut’ families in New Zealand at the time of the 1991 and 1996 censuses. The methodology is described in some detail in the first section, and it is hoped that the careful attention to the procedures used to examine migrants, who have been identified in the census, in their family contexts will stimulate further research in this area. The second part of the report presents the findings of an initial exploration of 1991 and 1996 census data using the methodology outlined in the first section. It is clear from results of this inquiry that the ‘astronaut’ family phenomenon is well established amongst some components of New Zealand’s Asian community. However, it is not as widespread as media comment in 1995 and 1996, before the 1996 election, suggested. It is important to develop ways of assessing characteristics of immigrant family structures in order to counter unsubstantiated assertions which promote negative stereotypes of immigrant communities. This research, which builds on a project supported by the Marsden Fund in 1997, suggest one fruitful avenue for making more extensive use of census data on immigrants in New Zealand to provide more objective assessment of “migrants in social context”.
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