NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Kevin Y. Shih

Department of Economics, Russell Sage Laboratory
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2017The Effect of the H-1B Quota on Employment and Selection of Foreign-Born Labor
with Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc Ortega, Giovanni Peri, Chad Sparber: w23902
The H-1B program allows skilled foreign-born individuals to work in the United States. The annual quota on new H-1B visa issuances fell from 195,000 to 65,000 for employees of most firms in fiscal year 2004. However, this cap did not apply to new employees of colleges, universities, and non-profit research institutions. Additionally, existing H-1B holders seeking to renew their visa were also exempt from the quota. Using a triple difference approach, this paper demonstrates that cap restrictions significantly reduced the employment of new H-1B workers in for-profit firms relative to what would have occurred in an unconstrained environment. Employment of similar native workers in for profit firms did not change, however, consistently with a low degree of substitutability between H1B and nat...
May 2015Foreign and Native Skilled Workers: What Can We Learn from H-1B Lotteries?
with Giovanni Peri, Chad Sparber: w21175
In April of 2007 and 2008, the U.S. randomly allocated 65,000 H-1B temporary work permits to foreign-born skilled workers. About 88,000 requests for computer-related H-1B permits were declined in each of those two years. This paper exploits random H-1B variation across U.S. cities to analyze how these supply shocks affected labor market outcomes for computer-related workers. We find that negative H-1B supply shocks are robustly associated with declines in foreign-born computer-related employment, while native-born computer employment either falls or remains constant. Most of the correlation between H-1B supply shocks and foreign employment is due to rationing that varies with a city's initial dependence upon H-1B workers. Variation in random, lottery-driven, unexpected shocks is too small ...
May 2014Foreign STEM Workers and Native Wages and Employment in U.S. Cities
with Giovanni Peri, Chad Sparber: w20093
Scientists, Technology professionals, Engineers, and Mathematicians (STEM workers) are fundamental inputs in scientific innovation and technological adoption, the main drivers of productivity growth in the U.S. In this paper we identify the effect of STEM worker growth on the wages and employment of college and non-college educated native workers in 219 U.S. cities from 1990 to 2010. In order to identify a supply-driven and heterogeneous increase in STEM workers across U.S. cities, we use the distribution of foreign-born STEM workers in 1980 and exploit the introduction and variation of the H-1B visa program granting entry to foreign-born college educated (mainly STEM) workers. We find that H-1B-driven increases in STEM workers in a city were associated with significant increases in wages ...
 
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