Article | American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings | 2013

Immigration and Employer Transitions for STEM Workers

by Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr

Abstract

We analyze the career trajectories of STEM workers and firm-level hiring of immigrants using the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) database of the US Census Bureau. We find STEM career adjustments during periods of abnormally high immigration into the firm to be more difficult on several dimensions compared to non-STEM workers. Most notably, STEM workers do not acquire a new job as quickly as non-STEM workers; moreover, their earnings are reduced after the job transition occurs. This latter earnings effect is strongest for the first five years after the transition, abating somewhat by the tenth year.

Keywords: Nationality Characteristics; Employment; Immigration;

Citation:

Pekkala Kerr, Sari, and William R. Kerr. "Immigration and Employer Transitions for STEM Workers." American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings 103, no. 3 (May 2013): 193–197.