Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa
Using the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, I examine how immigrants perform relative to natives in activities likely to increase U.S. productivity, according to the type of visa on which they first entered the United States. Immigrants who first entered on a student/trainee visa or a temporary work visa have a large advantage over natives in wages, patenting, commercializing or licensing patents, and publishing. In general, this advantage is explained by immigrants' higher education and field of study, but this is not the case for publishing, and immigrants are more likely to start companies than natives with similar education. Immigrants without U.S. education and who arrived at older ages suffer a wage handicap, which offsets savings to the United States from their having completed more education abroad. Immigrants who entered with legal permanent residence do not outperform natives for any of the outcomes considered.
I am grateful to David Munroe and Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle for research assistance, to David Green, Bill Kerr, Lindsay Lowell, participants in workshops at McGill and UBC, and friends in science and engineering for comments. I thank the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada for financial support. This paper was written while I was a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia. I am also affiliated with the CEPR, the IZA and the DIW--Berlin. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 417 - 457. citation courtesy of