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The Value of H-1B Status in Times of Scarcity

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  • Chad Sparber

    () (Colgate University)

Abstract

For-profit firms are limited in their ability to hire new, foreign-born, highly-educated workers after quotas on H-1B work permits are met each year, though they are able to hire existing H-1B workers. Universities and other non-profit research institutions do not face the same restrictions. Using difference in- difference methodology, this paper estimates the marginal value of an accepted H-1B job offer — in the form of wages — at for-profit firms after quotas have been met. Lower-bound estimates suggest a 1% wage premium with the largest differences occurring in the first month after meeting the quota. At least some of these effects are attributable to wage increases within narrowly-defined groups of workers during years in which available H-1B permits are quickly exhausted. These results provide indirect evidence that H-1B workers are imperfectly substitutable with other labor sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Sparber, 2015. "The Value of H-1B Status in Times of Scarcity," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1510, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1510
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    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_10_15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Depew, Briggs & Norlander, Peter & Sorensen, Todd A., 2013. "Flight of the H-1B: Inter-Firm Mobility and Return Migration Patterns for Skilled Guest Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 7456, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1143-1203.
    3. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2011. "Highly Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 385-411, July.
    4. Lofstrom, Magnus & Hayes, Joseph, 2011. "H-1Bs: How Do They Stack Up to US Born Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 6259, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skilled Workers; H-1B Work Permit; Immigration; Difference-in-Difference;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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