Could do better : Migration and New Zealand’s frontier firms

30 November 2020

By Peter Wilson and Julie Fry

A report for the New Zealand Productivity Commission.

The goal of this study is to better understand how changes in migration policy could influence firms in New Zealand to make greater use of technology and innovation relative to imported labour.

Here, we look specifically at migration and frontier firms: firms that are at the top of the game when it comes to converting resources into products. We explore both how migration can help frontier firms stay at the top of the class and how immigration settings more generally might have been holding firms back.

As well as being relevant to the Productivity Commission’s current inquiry into frontier firms, this report is also timely due to COVID-19. New Zealand has an opportunity to re-think migration policy, as we consider under what conditions we might eventually re-open the border.