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The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration Policy on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries

Author

Listed:
  • Kirk Doran
  • Alexander Gelber
  • Adam Isen

Abstract

We study the effect of a firm winning an additional H-1B visa on the firm’s outcomes, by comparing winning and losing firms in the Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007 H-1B visa lotteries. We match administrative data on the participants in these lotteries to the universe of approved U.S. patents, and to IRS data on the universe of U.S. firms. Winning additional H-1B visas has insignificant effects on firms’ patenting and use of the research and experimentation tax credit, with confidence intervals that generally rule out more than modest effects. Additional H-1Bs cause at most a moderate increase in firms’ overall employment, and these H-1Bs substantially crowd out firms’ employment of other workers. There is some evidence that additional H-1Bs lead to lower average employee earnings and higher firm profits.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20668
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof Åslund, 2003. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants—Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Parey & Jens Ruhose & Fabian Waldinger & Nicolai Netz, 2017. "The Selection of High-Skilled Emigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(5), pages 776-792, December.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2016. "Global Talent Flows," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 83-106, Fall.
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:62-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Giorgio Brunello & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Lorenzo Rocco, 2019. "Does Low Skilled Immigration Increase Profits? Evidence from Italian Local Labour Markets," Development Working Papers 450, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 28 May 2019.
    6. Mitaritonna, Cristina & Orefice, Gianluca & Peri, Giovanni, 2017. "Immigrants and firms’ outcomes: Evidence from France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 62-82.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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