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The Economic Scope and Future of US-India Labor Migration Issues


  • Jacob Funk Kirkegaard

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


This paper empirically investigates US-India labor migration and finds that it dominates permanent and temporary employment-based migration to the United States. The true economic value of temporary high-skilled Indian workers in the United States, based on a new visa data based methodology, is estimated to exceed $45 billion in recent years, surpassing the value of US cross-border imports of goods or services from India. The paper analyzes the impact of a potential US immigration reform on US-India bilateral labor migration relations and finds the 2013 Senate Bill S-744 to ease access for Indian individuals to the US labor market, while making it harder for some Indian high-tech firms to operate in the US markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, 2015. "The Economic Scope and Future of US-India Labor Migration Issues," Working Paper Series WP15-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp15-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, 2005. "Outsourcing and Skill Imports: Foreign High-Skilled Workers on H-1B and L-1 Visas in the United States," Working Paper Series WP05-15, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    2. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2005. "NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 332.
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    More about this item


    Temporary Labor Migration; High-Skilled Workers; US-India Relations; Immigration Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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