Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration

Year Published: 2015

Authors: Sari Pekkala Kerr, Kerr W., Lerner J., Stern S., Lincoln, W.

Source: Innovation Policy and the Economy

Firms play a central role in the selection, sponsorship, and employment of skilled immigrants entering the United States for work through programs like the H-1B visa. This role has not been widely recognized in the literature, and the data to better understand it have only recently become available. This chapter discusses the evidence that has been assembled to date in understanding the impact of high-skilled immigration from the perspective of the firm and the open areas that call for more research. Since much of the US immigration process for skilled workers rests in the hands of employer firms, a stronger understanding of these implications is essential for future policy analysis, particularly for issues relating to fostering innovation.