NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Immigration Policy Levers for US Innovation and Startups

Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr

NBER Working Paper No. 27040
Issued in April 2020
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27040

Forthcoming: Immigration Policy Levers for US Innovation and Startups, Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr. in Innovation and Public Policy, Goolsbee and Jones. 2020

 
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