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The contribution of skilled immigration and international graduate students to U.S. innovation

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  • Chellaraj, Gnanaraj
  • Maskus, Keith E.
  • Mattoo, Aaditya

Abstract

The impact of international students and skilled immigration in the United States on innovative activity is estimated using a model of idea generation. In the main specification a system of three equations is estimated, where dependent variables are total patent applications, patents awarded to U.S. universities, and patents awarded to other U.S. entities, each scaled by the domestic labor force. Results indicate that both international graduate students and skilled immigrants have a significant and positive impact on future patent applications, as well as on future patents awarded to university and nonuniversity institutions. The central estimates suggest that a 10 percent increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.7 percent, university patent grants by 5.3 percent, and nonuniversity patent grants by 6.7 percent. Thus, reductions in foreign graduate students from visa restrictions could significantly reduce U.S. innovative activity. Increases in skilled immigration also have a positive, but smaller, impact on patenting.

Suggested Citation

  • Chellaraj, Gnanaraj & Maskus, Keith E. & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "The contribution of skilled immigration and international graduate students to U.S. innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3588, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3588
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    Cited by:

    1. Vitor Trindade & Johannes Moenius, 2007. "Networks, Standards and Intellectual Property Rights," Working Papers 0705, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    2. Garnett Picot & Feng Hou, 2019. "Why do STEM immigrants do better in one country than another?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 459-459, April.
    3. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2014. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 343-379, November.
    4. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2011. "Highly Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 385-411, July.
    5. Max Nathan, 2011. "Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata," SERC Discussion Papers 0092, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    6. W. H. Furtan & J. Sauer, 2008. "Determinants of Food Industry Performance: Survey Data and Regressions for Denmark," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 555-573, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Khanh Hoang, 2015. "Aiding innovation and entrepreneurship through migration policy: A view from Australia," International Journal of Social Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 4(3), pages 59-81, August.
    9. Jansen, Marion & Piermartini, Roberta, 2005. "The Impact of Mode 4 Liberalization on Bilateral Trade Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 5382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. 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.
    11. Gao, Lan & Liu, Xiaohui & Zou, Huan, 2013. "The role of human mobility in promoting Chinese outward FDI: A neglected factor?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 437-449.
    12. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.
    13. Kangasniemi, Mari & Mas, Matilde & Robinson, Catherine & Serrano, Lorenzo, 2009. "The Economic Impact of Migration: Productivity Analysis for Spain and the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 17212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Mari Kangasniemi & Matilde Mas & Catherine Robinson & Lorenzo Serrano, 2012. "The economic impact of migration: productivity analysis for Spain and the UK," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 333-343, December.
    15. Ça?lar Özden & Maurice Schiff, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6929.
    16. Partridge, Jamie & Furtan, William Hartley, 2008. "Increasing Canada's International Competitiveness: Is There a Link between Skilled Immigrants and Innovation?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6504, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    17. Zhang, Liang & Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 2010. "Faculty employment and R&D expenditures at Research universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 329-337, June.
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    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Teaching and Learning; Tertiary Education; Environmental Economics&Policies; Gender and Education;
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