NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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High-Skill Immigration, Innovation, and Creative Destruction

Gaurav Khanna, Munseob Lee

NBER Working Paper No. 24824
Issued in July 2018, Revised in August 2018
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Economists have identified product entry and exit as a primary channel through which innovation impacts economic growth. In this paper, we document how high-skill immigration affects product reallocation (entry and exit) at the firm level. Using data on H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) matched to retail scanner data on products and Compustat data on firm characteristics, we find that H-1B certification is associated with higher product reallocation and revenue growth. A ten percent increase in the share of H-1B workers is associated with a two percent increase in product reallocation rates – our measure of innovation. These results shed light on the economic consequences of innovation by high-skill immigrant to the United States.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24824

Forthcoming: High-Skill Immigration, Innovation, and Creative Destruction, Gaurav Khanna, Munseob Lee. in The Role of Immigrants and Foreign Students in Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, Ganguli, Kahn, and MacGarvie. 2018

 
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