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

University of Chicago Press
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Immigration policy is one of the most contentious public policy issues in the United States today. High-skilled immigrants represent an increasing share of the U.S. workforce, particularly in science and engineering fields. These immigrants affect economic growth, patterns of trade, education choices, and the earnings of workers with different types of skills. The chapters in this volume go beyond the traditional question of how the inflow of foreign workers affects native employment and earnings to explore effects on innovation and productivity, wage inequality across skill groups, the behavior of multinational firms, firm-level dynamics of entry and exit, and the nature of comparative advantage across countries.
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About the author

Gordon H. Hanson holds the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations and is director of the Center on Global Transformation at the University of California, San Diego. William R. Kerr is the Dimitri V. D’Arbeloff-MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Sarah Turner is the University Professor of Economics and Education and Souder Family Professor at the University of Virginia. All three are research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jun 15, 2018
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780226525662
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic Conditions
Business & Economics / Economics / Microeconomics
Business & Economics / General
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The global race for talent is on, with countries and businesses competing for the best and brightest. Talented individuals migrate much more frequently than the general population, and the United States has received exceptional inflows of human capital. This foreign talent has transformed U.S. science and engineering, reshaped the economy, and influenced society at large. But America is bogged down in thorny debates on immigration policy, and the world around the United States is rapidly catching up, especially China and India. The future is quite uncertain, and the global talent puzzle deserves close examination.

To do this, William R. Kerr uniquely combines insights and lessons from business practice, government policy, and individual decision making. Examining popular ideas that have taken hold and synthesizing rigorous research across fields such as entrepreneurship and innovation, regional advantage, and economic policy, Kerr gives voice to data and ideas that should drive the next wave of policy and business practice.

The Gift of Global Talent deftly transports readers from joyous celebrations at the Nobel Prize ceremony to angry airport protests against the Trump administration's travel ban. It explores why talented migration drives the knowledge economy, describes how universities and firms govern skilled admissions, explains the controversies of the H-1B visa used by firms like Google and Apple, and discusses the economic inequalities and superstar firms that global talent flows produce. The United States has been the steward of a global gift, and this book explains the huge leadership decision it now faces and how it can become even more competitive for attracting tomorrow's talent.

Please click here to learn more about the book.

“Ideas of economic democracy are very much in the air, as they should be, with increasing urgency in the midst of today’s serious crises. Richard Wolff’s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.”—Noam Chomsky

"Probably America's most prominent Marxist economist."—The New York Times

Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve.

One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy.

Here Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action.

Richard D. Wolff is professor of Economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a visiting professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff is the author of many books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI (Pacifica Radio) and writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine.


With 11.9 million undocumented residents in the United States and illegal entrants accounting for nearly half of the low-skilled foreign workforce, there is widespread agreement that the current U.S. immigration system is broken. Past reform agendas have emphasized strengthening border security, increasing the number of visas for foreign guest workers, and defining a path to legal residence for illegal immigrants already living in the country. When the Obama administration addresses immigration reform-as it has promised to do before 2012-should it pick up where previous reform proposals left off? In Regulating Low Skilled Immigration in the United States, Gordon H. Hanson contends that efforts to curtail illegal entry will fail unless policymakers design a system that is responsive to market signals that encourage individuals to move from low-wage labor markets in regions such as Central America to the more robust labor market in United States. On the whole, immigration benefits the U.S. economy by raising national income and making domestic capital more productive. However, increasing the low-skilled population may also increase the net tax burden on native residents. Successful reform depends on attracting immigrants with strong incentives to be productive laborers who will not place excessive demands on public services. Illegal immigration, as regulated by market forces, largely satisfies these criteria, but at the cost of undermining the rule of law and leaving the immigrant population unprotected. To create a better system for managing low-skilled immigration, Hanson argues, Congress should preserve the features of the current regime that serve the country well and strip away the features that corrode civil society and harm immigrants.
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