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The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention

50 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2008  

William R. Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

William Fabius Lincoln

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 16, 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Innovation, Research and Development, Patents, Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, H-1B, Immigration, Ethnicity, India, China, Endogenous Growth.

JEL Classification: F15, F22, J44, J61, O31.

Suggested Citation

Kerr, William R. and Lincoln, William Fabius, The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention (December 16, 2008). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 09-005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316942 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1316942

William R. Kerr (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

William Fabius Lincoln

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States

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