Are Immigrants Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from the Audit Industry
Forthcoming, Management Science
37 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2015 Last revised: 22 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 18, 2016
Extensive debate exists among policy makers and economists about the employment of highly skilled immigrants in the U.S. It remains unclear whether these immigrants perform complementary tasks in addition to their substitutive role relative to native graduates. Empirical studies examining these questions in a focused setting are scarce, principally because of nonavailability of data. We examine these questions using the audit industry as a setting because of availability of client, city, and office characteristics data at each audit office. This setting also allows us to answer whether immigration can address the growing human capital constraint in the audit industry. We find evidence of a complementary role of highly skilled immigrants. In addition, our results indicate a reputational spillover of client restatements at the audit office level to the labor markets. Our findings have immigration and education policy implications.
Keywords: Immigration, H-1B; visa quotas; auditing; human capital, auditing; restatements; reputation
JEL Classification: J15; J24; J61; M42; M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation