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Building a Better H-1B Program

Author

Listed:
  • Chad Sparber

    () (Colgate University)

Abstract

The H-1B program allows highly-educated foreign-born labor to temporarily work in the United States. Quotas restrict the number of labor force entrants, however. In many years, all available work permits were allocated by random lottery. This paper argues that an alternative distribution method based upon ability would increase output, output per worker, and wages paid to less-educated workers. Baseline estimates suggest that a change in allocation policy could result in a $26.5 billion gain for the economy over a six year period. This estimate grows when H-1B demand rises.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Sparber, 2015. "Building a Better H-1B Program," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1513, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1513
    as

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    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_13_15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Takao Kato & Chad Sparber, 2013. "Quotas and Quality: The Effect of H-1B Visa Restrictions on the Pool of Prospective Undergraduate Students from Abroad," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 109-126, March.
    2. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. Peri, Giovanni & Shih, Kevin Y., 2013. "Foreign Scientists and Engineers and Economic Growth in Canadian Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 7367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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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