This article discusses possible ties between migratory patterns in French Polynesia and policies drafted by the French state and the local government concerning the territory’s economic development. The goals are to diversify the economic production of the outer archipelagos based on their natural resources and to encourage the return of out-migrants. The structures of production that the new cultural economy has systemically articulated at the global scale should also encourage the return migration that the economic policies seek to establish. Contemporary patterns of mobility differ little from those of times past. Polynesians have always moved and had thus established multiple support networks for migrants across the Pacific. The responses gathered during recent research trips to French Polynesia indicate that the large investments in infrastructure by the two governments in the outer archipelagos are not convincing most out-migrants to return. This infrastructure might, however, attract migrants from other parts of French Polynesia even if only temporarily, as is already the case for some foreigners.
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