Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration

Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr, William F. Lincoln

This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, William R. Kerr, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors
Conference held April 8, 2014
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press
in NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy

Firms play a central role in the selection, sponsorship, and employment of skilled immigrants entering the United States for work through programs like the H-1B visa. This role has not been widely recognized in the literature, and the data to better understand it have only recently become available. This chapter discusses the evidence that has been assembled to date in understanding the impact of high skilled immigration from the perspective of the firm and the open areas that call for more research. Since much of the U.S. immigration process for skilled workers rests in the hands of employer firms, a stronger understanding of these implications is essential for future policy analysis, particularly for issues relating to fostering innovation.

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This paper was revised on April 17, 2014

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w20069, Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration, Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr, William F. Lincoln
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