The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention
William R. Kerr
Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit
William Fabius Lincoln
Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College
December 16, 2008
Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 09-005
This study evaluates the impact of high-skilled immigrants on US technology formation. Specifically, we use reduced-form specifications that exploit large changes in the H-1B visa program. Fluctuations in H-1B admissions levels significantly influence the rate of Indian and Chinese patenting in cities and firms dependent upon the program relative to their peers. Most specifications find weak crowding-in effects or no effect at all for native patenting. Total invention increases with higher admission levels primarily through the direct contributions of ethnic inventors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: Innovation, Research and Development, Patents, Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, H-1B, Immigration, Ethnicity, India, China, Endogenous Growth.
JEL Classification: F15, F22, J44, J61, O31.
Date posted: December 17, 2008