High-Skilled Migration to the United States and Its Economic Consequences

High-Skilled Migration to the United States and Its Economic Consequences

Gordon H. Hanson, William R. Kerr, and Sarah Turner

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226525525

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

High-skilled immigrants represent an increasing share of the U.S. workforce, particularly in science and engineering fields. High-skill immigration cuts across the traditional field boundaries in economics, potentially impacting innovation and economic growth, patterns of trade, education choices, and the earnings of workers with different types of skills. The aim of the six chapters in this volume is to integrate ideas from trade, macro, industrial organization and labor in the study of high-skill immigration in the United States. The chapters in this volume bring models of firms and individuals to questions about how the growth of high-skill immigration affects broad-based economic outcomes. By applying a broad-based theoretical lens to the challenges and opportunities of high-skill talent flows to the United States, the chapters in this volume go beyond the questions of how the inflow of foreign workers affects native employment and earnings. The chapters consider additional margins of adjustment to high-skill immigration including the effects on innovation and productivity, the impact on overall inequality across skill groups, the particular response of multi-national firms, firm-level dynamics of entry and exit, the nature of comparative advantage across countries, while also identifying new margins of potential adjustment including digital markets and contests which extend globalization without the physical migration of labor.