The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration Policy on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries
Kirk Doran (),
Alexander Gelber () and
No 20668, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We study the effect of a firm winning an additional H-1B visa on the firm’s outcomes, by comparing winning and losing firms in the Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007 H-1B visa lotteries. We match administrative data on the participants in these lotteries to the universe of approved U.S. patents, and to IRS data on the universe of U.S. firms. Winning additional H-1B visas has insignificant effects on firms’ patenting and use of the research and experimentation tax credit, with confidence intervals that generally rule out more than modest effects. Additional H-1Bs cause at most a moderate increase in firms’ overall employment, and these H-1Bs substantially crowd out firms’ employment of other workers. There is some evidence that additional H-1Bs lead to lower average employee earnings and higher firm profits.
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