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H-1bs: How Do They Stack Up to US Born Workers?

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Joseph J. Hayes

affiliation not provided to SSRN

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6259

Combining unique individual level H-1B data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and data from the 2009 American Community Survey, we analyze earnings differences between H-1B visa holders and US born workers in STEM occupations. The data indicate that H-1Bs are younger and more skilled, as measured by education, than US born workers in the same occupations. We fail to find support for the notion that H-1Bs are paid less that observationally similar US born workers; in fact, they appear to have higher earnings in some key STEM occupations, including information technology.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: temporary workers, H-1B, immigration, high-skill, STEM

JEL Classification: J8, J15, J18, J31, J61

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Date posted: January 8, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lofstrom, Magnus and Hayes, Joseph J., H-1bs: How Do They Stack Up to US Born Workers?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6259. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1981215

Contact Information

Magnus Lofstrom (Contact Author)
Public Policy Institute of California ( email )
500 Washington Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
+49 228 3894 303 (Phone)
+49 228 3894 210 (Fax)

Joseph J. Hayes
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN

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