Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1B Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success
53 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2019 Last revised: 6 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 11, 2019
We study how access to high-skill labor affects the outcomes of start-up firms. We obtain exogenous variation in firms’ ability to access skilled labor by using win rates in H-1B visa lotteries. Relative to other firms that also applied for H-1B visas, firms with higher lottery win rates are more likely to receive additional venture capital funding and to have a successful exit via an IPO or acquisition. H-1B visa lottery winners also subsequently receive more patents and patent citations. Overall, our results show that access to high-skill labor is a critical determinant of success for start-up firms.
Keywords: Immigration, H-1B Visa, IPO, Venture Capital, Patent, Innovation, Skilled Labor, High-Skill Immigration, Hiring Constraints
JEL Classification: D22, G24, G32, J23, J24, J61, O3
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