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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1B Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen G. Dimmock
  • Jiekun Huang
  • Scott J. Weisbenner

Abstract

We study how access to high-skill labor affects the outcomes of start-up firms. We obtain exogenous variation in firms’ ability to access skilled labor by using win rates in H-1B visa lotteries. Relative to other firms that also applied for H-1B visas, firms with higher lottery win rates are more likely to receive additional venture capital funding and to have a successful exit via an IPO or acquisition. H-1B visa lottery winners also subsequently receive more patents and patent citations. Overall, our results show that access to high-skill labor is a critical determinant of success for start-up firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen G. Dimmock & Jiekun Huang & Scott J. Weisbenner, 2019. "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1B Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success," NBER Working Papers 26392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26392
    Note: CF LS PE PR
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • 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
    • 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

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