IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crm/wpaper/1442.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Impact of Skilled Foreign Workers on Firms: an Investigation of Publicly Traded U.S. Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Anirban Ghosh

    () (Georgetown University)

  • Anna Maria Mayda

    () (Georgetown University)

  • Francesc Ortega

    () (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

Many U.S. businessmen are vocally in favor of an increase in the number of H-1B visas. Is there systematic evidence that this would positively affect firms' productivity, sales, employment or profits? To address these questions we assemble a unique dataset that matches all labor condition applications (LCAs) - the first step towards H-1B visas for skilled foreign-born workers in the U.S. - with firm-level data on publicly traded U.S. firms (from Compustat). Our identification is based on the sharp reduction in the annual H-1B cap that took place in 2004, combined with information on the degree of dependency on H-1B visas at the firm level as in Kerr and Lincoln (2010). The main result of this paper is that if the cap on H-1B visas were relaxed, a subset of firms would experience gains in average labor productivity, firm size, and profits. These are firms that conduct R&D and are heavy users of H-1B workers - they belong to the top quintile among filers of LCAs. These empirical findings are consistent with a heterogeneous- firms model where innovation enhances productivity and is subject to fixed costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Anirban Ghosh & Anna Maria Mayda & Francesc Ortega, 2014. "The Impact of Skilled Foreign Workers on Firms: an Investigation of Publicly Traded U.S. Firms," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1442, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1442
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_42_14.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7463 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2010. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 31-56, April.
    3. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    4. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 536-598, June.
    5. Mercedes Teruel-Carrizosa & Agustí Segarra-Blasco, 2008. "Immigration and Firm Growth: Evidence from Spanish cities," Working Papers XREAP2008-11, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Nov 2008.
    6. 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, July.
    7. M Daniele Paserman, 2013. "Do high-skill immigrants raise productivity? Evidence from Israeli manufacturing firms, 1990-1999," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-31, December.
    8. Giovanni Peri & Kevin Shih & Chad Sparber, 2016. "STEM Workers, H-1B Visas, and Productivity in US Cities," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 9, pages 277-307 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2014. "Labor diversity and firm productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 144-179.
    10. Myriam Quispe-Agnoli & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "The effect of immigration on output mix, capital, and productivity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 17-27.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:62-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:inecon:v:112:y:2018:i:c:p:88-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Peri, Giovanni & Wright, Greg C., 2018. "Immigration, trade and productivity in services: Evidence from U.K. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 88-108.
    4. John Bound & Gaurav Khanna & Nicolas Morales, 2017. "Understanding the Economic Impact of the H-1B Program on the United States," NBER Chapters,in: High-Skilled Migration to the United States and its Economic Consequences, pages 109-175 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John Bound & Gaurav Khanna & Nicolas Morales, 2017. "Understanding the Economic Impact of the H-1B Program on the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mitaritonna, Cristina & Orefice, Gianluca & Peri, Giovanni, 2017. "Immigrants and firms’ outcomes: Evidence from France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 62-82.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1442. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CReAM Administrator) or (Thomas Cornelissen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cmucluk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.