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Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial: Distinctions by Entry Visa

  • Hunt, Jennifer

Using the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, I examine how immigrants perform relative to natives in activities likely to increase U.S. productivity, according to the type of visa on which they first entered the United States. Immigrants who first entered on a student/trainee visa or a temporary work visa have a large advantage over natives in wages, patenting, commercializing or licensing patents, and publishing. In general, this advantage is explained by immigrants' higher education and field of study, but this is not the case for publishing, and immigrants are more likely to start companies than natives with similar education. Immigrants without U.S. education and who arrived at older ages suffer a wage handicap, which offsets savings to the United States from their having completed more education abroad. Immigrants who entered with legal permanent residence do not outperform natives for any of the outcomes considered.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7699.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7699
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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.
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