Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration
Firms play a central role in the selection, sponsorship, and employment of skilled immigrants entering the United States for work through programs like the H-1B visa. This role has not been widely recognized in the literature, and the data to better understand it have only recently become available. This chapter discusses the evidence that has been assembled to date in understanding the impact of high skilled immigration from the perspective of the firm and the open areas that call for more research. Since much of the U.S. immigration process for skilled workers rests in the hands of employer firms, a stronger understanding of these implications is essential for future policy analysis, particularly for issues relating to fostering innovation.
This paper is a revised version of a review prepared for the Innovation Policy and the Economy Forum, April 2014. Comments are appreciated and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We especially thank Daniel Goroff and the Sloan Foundation for financial support for this project. We are also grateful to Ed Egan and Rosana Lee for very helpful comments on the draft. The authors were paid an honorarium by the NBER for the writing of this review. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.