Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets

George J. Borjas

in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226261898
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226261904 | DOI:
Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets

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This chapter uses data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients to analyze the impact of the influx of foreign students on the earnings of doctorates. These data provide detailed information on the size of the immigrant supply shock and the labor market experiences of doctorates in science and engineering. The data also contain information on doctoral fields and year of graduation, so that it is possible to construct specific cohorts of doctorates and examine how a particular supply shock affects the earnings of doctorates in that cohort. It turns out that the foreign student influx has differentially affected different fields at different times. The chapter exploits this variation in the supply shock to identify the impact of immigration on high-skill labor markets. The empirical analysis reported in this chapter clearly shows that a foreign student influx into a particular field at a particular time has a significant and adverse effect on the earnings of competing doctorates in that field who graduated at roughly the same time. Because the magnitude of the immigrant supply shock in particular fields has been sizable, this elasticity implies that many doctorates employed in the United States, whether native-born or foreign-born, have experienced a substantial wage loss.

Keywords: sciences; engineering; United States; labor markets; immigration

Chapter.  13640 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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