Migration: the economic debate

CEDA released a research report in November 2016 which examines the economic consequences of the migration program for Australia and the effectiveness of the migration program itself.

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Read media release CEDA report: increased migration to deliver economic benefits

Over the last 70 years immigration has added seven million people to Australia’s population and will, if current policy settings continue, add a further 13 million by 2060. The current focus of the migration program on skilled migration, while maintaining opportunities for family and humanitarian immigration, is perceived to have served Australia well.

However, key policies in the migration program, when added to the rise of extremist politicians in Australia and globally, have the potential to undermine its community acceptance with respect to the economic benefits for the nation. In particular, an overreliance on poorly regulated market driven components of the program and the very substantial pools of relatively unregulated temporary migrants create opportunities for exploitation and have significant consequences for incumbent workers.

CEDA believes that Australia’s migration program has played an important role in the nation’s economic success. The almost unprecedented 25 years of economic expansion was facilitated by a responsive migration program that was able to access skills and labour needed to handle the largest terms of trade boom in a century. It also connects Australian businesses with global talent and new trade opportunities.

This policy perspective examines what changes in public policy with respect to the migration program are necessary to sustain its contribution to Australia’s economic development and social cohesion and to maintain community support.

Chapters and authors

Chapter one: Attitudes to Australia’s immigration policy

Professor Andrew Markus, Pratt Foundation Research Professor of Jewish Civilisation, Monash University and Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

Chapter two: Australia’s de facto  low skilled migration program

Dr Anna Boucher, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney

Chapter three: Redesigning Australia’s labour migration program

Associate Professor Joanna Howe, Associate Professor of Law, University of Adelaide

Chapter four: Skilled migration and  Australia’s productivity

Dean Parham, non-resident Research Fellow, University of Adelaide and Sue Regan, Analyst, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University

Chapter five: Ensuring immigration benefits all

Professor Glenn Withers AO, Research School of Economics and the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

Download Migration: the economic debate

Report release events 

Brisbane | Report launch | 3 November 2016 Sydney | 8 November 2016 
Perth | 10 November 2016 Adelaide | 11 November 2016
Melbourne | 1 December 2016  

 Videos from Migration: the economic debate launch:

Supported by CEDA member: