H-1B Visas and Wages in Accounting: Evidence from Deloitte's Payroll

51 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2018 Last revised: 28 May 2019

See all articles by Thomas Bourveau

Thomas Bourveau

Columbia Business School - Accounting, Business Law & Taxation

Derrald Stice

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics - Accounting Area

Han Stice

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Roger M. White

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Accountancy

Date Written: May 24, 2019

Abstract

We use payroll data from a Big 4 accounting firm to examine the starting wage differentials for H-1B visa holders. Prior research in other industries has found both positive and negative differentials, but primarily relies on surveyed salary data. We observe that relative to U.S. citizen new hires – matched on office, position, and time of hire – newly hired accountants with H-1B visas receive starting salaries that are lower by approximately 10%. This suggests that, at least in the payroll data we examine, regulatory mandates thought to prevent H-1B visa holders from being paid less than U.S. citizens in similar roles are ineffective. In further tests, we find evidence that the hiring of H-1B visa holders has no or some small positive effect on the wages of peer U.S. citizen new hires (weakly indicative of complementarities or synergies), but no evidence of H-1B hiring driving down the wages for U.S. citizen peer new hires.

Keywords: Accounting Workforce, Skilled Immigration, H-1B Visa, Wage Gap

JEL Classification: J31, J38, J44, J48, J61, K37, M12, M40, M52

Suggested Citation

Bourveau, Thomas and Stice, Derrald and Stice, Han and White, Roger M., H-1B Visas and Wages in Accounting: Evidence from Deloitte's Payroll (May 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3101562 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3101562

Thomas Bourveau

Columbia Business School - Accounting, Business Law & Taxation ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Derrald Stice

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics - Accounting Area ( email )

Hong Kong, HK
China

Han Stice

The Chinese University of Hong Kong ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

Roger M. White (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Accountancy ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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