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The Labor-Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

The rapid growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in American universities has transformed the higher education system, particularly at the graduate level. Many of these newly minted doctorates remain in the United States after receiving their doctoral degrees, so that the foreign student influx can have a significant impact in the labor market for high-skill workers. Using data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, the study shows that a foreign student influx into a particular doctoral field at a particular time had a significant and adverse effect on the earnings of doctorates in that field who graduated at roughly the same time. A 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 percent.
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Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 2005. "The Labor-Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 56-60, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:2:p:56-60
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282805774670040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 2009. "Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets: The Impact of Foreign Students on the Earnings of Doctorates," NBER Chapters,in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 131-161 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    4. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 65-97, October.
    5. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    6. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
    7. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-François Maystadt & Valerie Mueller & Ashwini Sebastian, 2016. "Environmental Migration and Labor Markets in Nepal," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 417-452.
    2. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2017:i:3:p:812-826 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kemeny, Thomas, 2013. "Immigrant diversity and economic development in cities: a critical review," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58458, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Kancs, D’Artis & Kielyte, Julda, 2010. "Education in the East, Emigrating to the West?," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 133-154, May.
    5. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "People Flows in Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-170, Spring.
    6. Stephen Drinkwater & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti & Joseph Pearlman, 2007. "The Immigration Surplus Revisited In A General Equilibrium Model With Endogenous Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 569-601.
    7. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Douglas Webber & Jody L. Sindelar, 2015. "Immigration and access to fringe benefits: Evidence from the Tobacco Use Supplements," DETU Working Papers 1503, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    8. Ana Maria Talmaciu (Banu) & Laura-Mariana Cismas, 2017. "Analysis Of The Trinom Migration - Fdi - Competitiveness. Case Study: Romania (2004-2015)," Oradea Journal of Business and Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 63-71, March.
    9. Azarnert, Leonid V., 2010. "Is skilled immigration always good for growth in the receiving economy?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 116-118, August.
    10. Bonin, Holger, 2017. "Report No. 75: The Potential Economic Benefits of Education of Migrants in the EU," IZA Research Reports 75, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & de la Rica, Sara, 2011. "Complements or substitutes? Task specialization by gender and nativity in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 697-707, October.
    12. Massimiliano Bratti & Chiara Conti, 2014. "The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa14p485, European Regional Science Association.
    13. John V. Winters, 2015. "Do higher levels of education and skills in an area benefit wider society?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 130-130, March.
    14. Scott Baker, 2013. "Effects of Immigrant Legalization on Crime: The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act," Discussion Papers 12-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    15. Scott Farrow & Stuart Shapiro, 2009. "The Benefit-Cost Analysis of Security Focused Regulations," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-101, UMBC Department of Economics.
    16. Joyce J Chen & Katrina Kosec & Valerie Mueller, 2016. "Temporary and Permanent Migrant Selection: Theory and Evidence of Ability–Search Cost Dynamics," Working Papers id:8257, eSocialSciences.
    17. Sunil Mithas & Henry C. Lucas, Jr., 2010. "Are Foreign IT Workers Cheaper? U.S. Visa Policies and Compensation of Information Technology Professionals," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(5), pages 745-765, May.
    18. Hanson, Gordon H., 2010. "International Migration and the Developing World," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    19. Kox, Henk L.M., 2011. "The future of the fence around the European labour market," MPRA Paper 31722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2008. "Complements or Substitutes? Immigrant and Native Task Specialization in Spain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0816, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    21. Daniela Federici & Marilena Giannetti, 2010. "Temporary Migration and Foreign Direct Investment," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 293-308, April.
    22. Tse, Michael M. H. & Maani, Sholeh A., 2016. "The Labour Market Effect of Immigration: Accounting for Effective Immigrant Work Experience in New Zealand," IZA Discussion Papers 10422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    23. Einiö, Elias, 2015. "The Loss of Production Work: Identification of Demand Shifts Based on Local Soviet Trade Shocks," Working Papers 61, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    24. Moshe Buchinsky, 2008. "Residential Location in Israel," 2008 Meeting Papers 931, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    25. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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