The Contribution of Skilled Immigration and International Graduate Students to U.S. Innovation

35 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2005

See all articles by Gnanaraj Chellaraj

Gnanaraj Chellaraj

Ministry of Health, Singapore

Keith E. Maskus

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

The impact of international students and skilled immigration in the United States on innovative activity is estimated using a model of idea generation. In the main specification a system of three equations is estimated, where dependent variables are total patent applications, patents awarded to U.S. universities, and patents awarded to other U.S. entities, each scaled by the domestic labor force. Results indicate that both international graduate students and skilled immigrants have a significant and positive impact on future patent applications as well as on future patents awarded to university and non-university institutions. Our central estimates suggest that a ten-percent increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.7 percent, university patent grants by 5.3 percent and non-university patent grants by 6.7 percent. Thus, reductions in foreign graduate students from visa restrictions could significantly reduce U.S. innovative activity. Increases in skilled immigration also have a positive, but smaller, impact on patenting.

Keywords: Innovation, foreign graduate students, U.S. immigration, patenting

JEL Classification: I2, J6, O3

Suggested Citation

Chellaraj, Gnanaraj and Maskus, Keith E. and Mattoo, Aaditya, The Contribution of Skilled Immigration and International Graduate Students to U.S. Innovation (May 2005). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3588. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=744625

Gnanaraj Chellaraj (Contact Author)

Ministry of Health, Singapore ( email )

College of Medicine
16 College Road
Singapore, 169854
Singapore

Keith E. Maskus

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-7588 (Phone)
303-492-8960 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Room MC 3-327
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/amattoo

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