Labour Markets for Sustainable Economic Development

Are There Only Winners? Labour Mobility for Sustainable Development in the Pacific

Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Evelyn Marsters, Richard Bedford, Vijay Naidu and Ward Friesen


This report argues that a “quadruple win-loss” framework provides a more nuanced analytical lens to understand the multi-dimensional nature of contemporary labour mobility in the Pacific. This research will be of particular use for policy makers in Pacific countries as they advance their labour mobility plans in the context of national sustainable development planning.


Labour mobility in the Pacific: A systematic literature review of development impacts

This report undertakes a systematic literature review to examine the state of present knowledge  of key labour programmes such as the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme in New Zealand and the Australian Seasonal Worker Programme.

The report asks:

  1. What is known about the development effects (impacts, outcomes, cost-effectiveness – directly and indirectly on different stakeholders) of the RSE and the Australian Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) schemes in the Pacific since 2007?
  2. What is known about how the RSE scheme contributes to wider development aspirations of Pacific countries?
  3. What are the main gaps in the evidence on effects and on the wider development aspirations?

Labour Markets, Labour Mobility and Policy Options in the Pacific: a critical development debate

19 October 2017


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