NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets: The Impact of Foreign Students on the Earnings of Doctorates

George J. Borjas

NBER Working Paper No. 12085
Issued in March 2006
NBER Program(s):   LS

The rapid growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in American universities has transformed the higher education system, particularly at the graduate level. Many of these newly minted doctorates remain in the United States after receiving their doctoral degrees, so that the foreign student influx can have a significant impact in the labor market for high-skill workers. Using data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, the study shows that a foreign student influx into a particular doctoral field at a particular time had a significant and adverse effect on the earnings of doctorates in that field who graduated at roughly the same time. A 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 to 4 percent. About half of this adverse wage effect can be attributed to the increased prevalence of low-pay postdoctoral appointments in fields that have softer labor market conditions because of large-scale immigration.

download in pdf format
   (314 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the December 2006 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (314 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12085

Published:

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Borjas w10349 Do Foreign Students Crowd Out Native Students from Graduate Programs?
Borjas w11217 The Labor Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration
Ottaviano and Peri w12497 Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages
Hunt and Gauthier-Loiselle w14312 How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?
Borjas w9755 The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us