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The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention

  • William R. Kerr

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)

  • William F. Lincoln

    ()

    (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)

This study evaluates the impact of high-skilled immigrants on US technology formation. Specifically, we use reduced-form specifications that exploit large changes in the H-1B visa program. Fluctuations in H-1B admissions levels significantly influence the rate of Indian and Chinese patenting in cities and firms dependent upon the program relative to their peers. Most specifications find weak crowding-in effects or no effect at all for native patenting. Total invention increases with higher admission levels primarily through the direct contributions of ethnic inventors.

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File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/09-005.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-005.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-005
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