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

  • Richard B. Freeman

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14962.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14962
Note: LS
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  1. Matthias Parey & Fabian Waldinger, 2007. "Studying abroad and the effect on international labor market mobility: evidence from the introduction of Erasmus," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19383, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1490, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "Does Globalization of the Scientific/Engineering Workforce Threaten U.S. Economic Leadership?," NBER Working Papers 11457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis�," TWI Research Paper Series 8, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
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