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Immigration Policy Levers for US Innovation and Startups

Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr


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 and Public Policy, Austan Goolsbee and Benjamin Jones, editors
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

Immigrants account for about a quarter of US invention and entrepreneurship despite a policy environment that is not well suited for these purposes. This chapter reviews the US immigration policy environment that governs how skilled migrants move to America for employment-based purposes. We discuss points of strain in the current system and potential policy reforms that would likely increase the rate of innovation and the number of startups due to immigrants in the country. Key areas include adjustments to the allocation of permanent residency visas, adjustments to the H-1B visa program, and the creation of an immigrant startup visa.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w27040, Immigration Policy Levers for US Innovation and Startups, Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr
 
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