The Effects of High Skill Immigration on Workers and Firms

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The effects that foreign workers have on the labor market outcomes of domestic workers is of tremendous policy interest and remain unsettled (e.g., Peri and Sparber, 2011; Doranet et al., 2014). The question is difficult to answer as the observed assignment of foreign workers is not random. This research aims to identify causal effects by exploiting randomized lotteries of H-1B visas—the main visa for high skill foreign-born individuals to work in the US—that occurred between 2007 and 2015.To do so, we link data across several sources at both the individual and firm level. These data include confidential data on employment and wages for individuals and firms hosted at the US Census Bureau and visa lottery information obtained via Freedom of Information Action requests made to the Department of Labor and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).