Bill Kerr, Harvard Business School

Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures and Innovation Rates of U.S. Firms

November 1, 2012 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Baker Library | Bloomberg Center 103 | Harvard faculty and doctoral students only


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​​We study the impact of skilled immigrants on the employment structures and innovation outcomes of U.S. firms using matched employer-employee data. We use the firm as the lens of analysis given that many skilled immigrant admissions are driven by firms subject to regulations and mandated caps (e.g., H-1B visa). OLS and IV specifications find rising overall employment with increased skilled immigrant employment by the firm; employment expansion is greater for younger natives than older natives. Departure rates for older workers appear higher for workers in STEM occupations. Skilled immigration expands firm innovation with little impact on the traits of patents filed.