Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1b Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success

48 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2019

See all articles by Stephen G. Dimmock

Stephen G. Dimmock

National University of Singapore; Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER)

Jiekun Huang

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance

Scott J. Weisbenner

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2019

Abstract

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.

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Suggested Citation

Dimmock, Stephen G. and Huang, Jiekun and Weisbenner, Scott J., Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1b Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success (October 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26392. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3472826

Stephen G. Dimmock (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore ( email )

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Jiekun Huang

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance ( email )

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Scott J. Weisbenner

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance ( email )

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