What Explains the Wealth Gap between Immigrants and the New Zealand Born?

Motu Working Paper No. 07-12

43 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2007

See all articles by John Gibson

John Gibson

University of Waikato; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Steven Stillman

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

Immigrants are typically found to have less wealth and hold it in different forms than the native born. These differences may affect both the economic assimilation of immigrants and overall portfolio allocation when immigrants are a large share of the population, as in New Zealand. In this paper, data from the 2001 Household Savings Survey are used to examine wealth differences between immigrants and the New Zealand-born. Differences in the allocation of portfolios between housing and other forms of wealth are described. Unconditional and conditional wealth quantiles are examined using parametric models. Semiparametric methods are used to decompose differences in net worth at different parts of the wealth distribution into the part due to differences in characteristics and the part due to differences in the returns to characteristics.

Keywords: Immigration, Portfolios, Semiparametric Decomposition, Wealth

JEL Classification: D31, G11, J15

Suggested Citation

Gibson, John and Le, Trinh and Stillman, Steven, What Explains the Wealth Gap between Immigrants and the New Zealand Born? (September 2007). Motu Working Paper No. 07-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019360 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1019360

John Gibson (Contact Author)

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
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Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

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Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Steven Stillman

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Via Sernesi 1
39100 Bozen-Bolzano (BZ), Bozen 39100
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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