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The Location of Foreign Human Capital in the United States


  • Brigitte Waldorf

    (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA)


Among the millions of newcomers entering the United States every decade, those with extensive human capital are of particular importance for local economies. This study uses data from the American Community Surveys, 2004 to 2007 and compares the locational patterns of highly educated individuals coming from abroad with that of highly educated individuals migrating internally. The study finds that the locational choices of highly educated newcomers from abroad are similar to those of highly educated domestic migrants but that there are some important differences. Gateway states are substantially more successful in attracting human capital from abroad than domestic human capital; foreign human capital is more strongly attracted to existing human capital agglomerations than domestic human capital; and a manufacturing-based industry is a deterrent for the attraction of both foreign and domestic highly educated in-migrants, but the deterrent effect is stronger for domestic human capital than for human capital from abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Brigitte Waldorf, 2011. "The Location of Foreign Human Capital in the United States," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(4), pages 330-340, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:4:p:330-340

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    Cited by:

    1. Silke Uebelmesser & Marcel Gérard, 2014. "Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Julia Beckhusen & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Jacques Poot & Brigitte S. Waldorf, 2013. "Attracting Global Talent And Then What? Overeducated Immigrants In The United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 834-854, December.

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    immigration; human capital; location;


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