The H-1B program and its effects on information technology workers
AbstractEmployment in the information technology (IT) field rose rapidly during the late 1990s. Many IT employees are foreign born and are working in the United States with H-1B visas-temporary nonimmigrant visas issued for terms of up to six years. Critics of the H-1B program contend that it reduces job opportunities and wages for native workers. The programs' supporters argue that H-1B workers-who typically have at least a bachelor's degree in a specialty such as computer programming-help address a shortage of skilled native workers and fill positions that would otherwise go vacant. ; This article examines whether the H-1B visa program negatively affects IT workers' wages. The author uses data on labor condition applications (LCAs) filed with the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate whether the number of H-1B workers in an area, relative to the total number of IT workers in that area, is negatively associated with the level of and change in average IT wages and the unemployment rate among IT workers in that area. ; The results provide little support for claims that the program has a negative impact on wages. However, some results do suggest a positive relationship between the number of LCA applications and the unemployment rate a year later. The failure to find an adverse wage effect does not necessarily indicate that H-1B workers do not depress wages but perhaps signals that any effect is difficult to find, as previous studies concluded.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.
Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Q3 ()
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007.
"Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence,"
Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
- Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Working Papers 0302, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
- Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Working Paper 2003-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2006. "Does Immigration Affect Wages? A Look at Occupation-Level Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2481, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2008.
"The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention,"
Harvard Business School Working Papers
09-005, Harvard Business School.
- William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2010. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and U.S. Ethnic Invention," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 473-508, 07.
- William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2010. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," NBER Working Papers 15768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William Kerr & William Lincoln, 2010. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp978, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Carl Lin, 2011.
"Give me your wired and your highly skilled: measuring the impact of immigration policy on employers and shareholders,"
2011/17, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
- Lin, Carl, 2011. "Give Me Your Wired and Your Highly Skilled: Measuring the Impact of Immigration Policy on Employers and Shareholders," IZA Discussion Papers 5754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Sankar Mukhopadhyay & David Oxborrow, 2012. "The Value of an Employment-Based Green Card," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 219-237, February.
- William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2011. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," NBER Working Papers 17577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Meredith Rector).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.