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Should Policy Makers Be Concerned About a Negative Wage Impact of Skilled Immigrants Receiving Advanced Educational Degrees in the U.S.?

38 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017 Last revised: 16 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 10, 2017

Abstract

Skilled immigrants play an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy, particularly in information technology (IT) intensive occupations. Visa regulation governing their employment by U.S. corporations, however, has remained largely unchanged over the last 25 years or so. Policy makers unanimously agree that such visa regulation needs a comprehensive reform. Hindering reform is the belief that U.S. corporations hire skilled immigrants to lower the wages of native workers, not to meet the shortfall of skilled labor. We contribute to the debate by examining the wage-depressing argument in the audit industry, which is a significant employer of U.S.-educated skilled immigrants. We find no evidence for this argument in our setting. Our study should interest researchers and policy makers as it supports the case for regulation reform for immigrants receiving advanced degrees in the U.S.

Keywords: Skilled immigration, H-1B visa reform, Compensation, Human capital, Globalization, Audit industry

JEL Classification: J24, J61, K37, M12, M48

Suggested Citation

Aobdia, Daniel and Srivastava, Anup, Should Policy Makers Be Concerned About a Negative Wage Impact of Skilled Immigrants Receiving Advanced Educational Degrees in the U.S.? (August 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3002004

Daniel Aobdia

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Anup Srivastava (Contact Author)

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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