IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp10166.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    () (San Diego State University)

  • Furtado, Delia

    () (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

For the first time since the inception of the H-1B visa, yearly caps became binding in 2004, making it harder for most foreign-born students to secure employment in the United States. However, since the year 2000, institutions of higher education and related non-profit research institutes had been exempt from the cap. We explore how immigrant employment choices were impacted by the binding visa cap, exploiting the fact that citizens of five countries (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore and Australia) had access to alternate work visas. Our estimates suggest that international students from H-1B dependent countries became more likely to work in academic institutions if they graduated after 2004 than immigrants from the five countries with substitute work visas. Within academia, foreign-born graduates affected by the visa cap became more likely to work in a job unrelated to their field of study, while no such change occurred in the private sector –a finding consistent with the notion of workers "settling for academia." We conclude with an analysis of workforce compositional changes in the academic versus private sectors as a result of the binding visa caps.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Furtado, Delia, 2016. "Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 10166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10166
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10166.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nagler, Markus & Piopiunik, Marc & West, Martin R., 2015. "Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness," Discussion Papers in Economics 25110, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Giovanni Peri & Kevin Shih & Chad Sparber, 2015. "Foreign and Native Skilled Workers: What Can We Learn from H-1B Lotteries?," NBER Working Papers 21175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    4. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
    5. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
    6. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Lisa B. Kahn & Jamin D. Speer, 2016. "Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 361-401.
    8. Michael J. Böhm & Martin Watzinger, 2015. "The Allocation of Talent over the Business Cycle and its Long-term Effect on Sectoral Productivity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 892-911, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Kirk Doran & Alexander Gelber & Adam Isen, 2014. "The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration Policy on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 20668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the US," NBER Working Papers 18780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Michael Boehm & Martin Watzinger, 2012. "The Allocation of Talent over the Business Cycle and its Effect on Sectoral Productivity," CEP Discussion Papers dp1143, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    14. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, January.
    15. Kevin Shih, 2016. "Labor Market Openness, H-1b Visa Policy, And The Scale Of International Student Enrollment In The United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 121-138, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    H-1B visas; foreign-born workers; academic market; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

    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:iza:izadps:dp10166. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.