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What Does Global Expansion of Higher Education Mean for the US?

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This study documents the rapid spread of higher education around the world and the consequent reduced share of the US in the world's university students and graduates. It shows that the proportion of young persons who go to college has risen in many advanced countries to exceed that in the US while human capital leapfrogging in the huge populous developing countries has produced massive increases in their university educated work forces. One result of the expansion of higher education overseas is that the US has come to rely extensively on the immigration of highly educated persons to maintain a lead position in science and technology. International students make up roughly half of university graduate immigrants to the US, which makes policies toward those students a key determinant in the country's success in attracting immigrant talent.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "What Does Global Expansion of Higher Education Mean for the US?," NBER Working Papers 14962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14962
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dreher, Axel & Poutvaara, Panu, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "Does Globalization of the Scientific/Engineering Workforce Threaten U.S. Economic Leadership?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 123-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis�," TWI Research Paper Series 8, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    4. Matthias Parey & Fabian Waldinger, 2011. "Studying Abroad and the Effect on International Labour Market Mobility: Evidence from the Introduction of ERASMUS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 194-222, March.
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    Cited by:

    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. Li, Shi & Whalley, John & Xing, Chunbing, 2014. "China's higher education expansion and unemployment of college graduates," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 567-582.
    3. John Bound & Gaurav Khanna & Nicolas Morales, 2017. "Understanding the Economic Impact of the H-1B Program on the US," NBER Chapters,in: High-Skilled Migration to the United States and its Economic Consequences National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Rachel Griffith & Helen Miller, 2011. "Innovation in China: the rise of Chinese inventors in the production of knowledge," IFS Working Papers W11/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Andreas Reinstaller & Isabel Stadler & Fabian Unterlass, 2012. "Mobility of University Research Staff in the EU and Austria," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 85(2), pages 105-119, February.
    7. Patrick Gaule & Mario Piacentini, 2015. "Immigration and Innovation: Chinese Graduate Students in U.S. Universities," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp529, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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