Richard P.C Brown, Gareth Leeves & Prabha Prayaga, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 457 March 2012, School of Economics, The University of Queensland. Australia.


Full text available as:
PDF - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewer.


We report initial findings from a household survey of Pacific island migrants and their remittances, conducted in 2010-11 in New South Wales (NSW). The study covers three Polynesian communities, Samoans and Tongans as in previous studies, but also Cook Islanders. We cover migrants in both Sydney and regional NSW. We quantify remittances of all types, formally and informally transferred, and distinguish those sent to households and organizations (mainly churches) or invested, beyond the migrants’ home country household, which account for almost 40% of total remittances. We provide the first estimates of remittances to Cook Islands since the mid-eighties, and the first estimates of remittances from regional areas in Australia. We investigate a number of potential socio-economic determinants of remittance behavior including the migrants’ income, duration of absence, strength of ties to home country, and major events in home country and Australia. We identify a number of important differences among the three groups, and between the Riverina- and Sydney-based communities. Areas for further research from this dataset are identified.