Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration
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 U.S. 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.
William Kerr is a Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill teaches in the MBA, executive education and doctoral programs at HBS. He is the faculty chair of HBS’ Launching New Ventures program, and he recently created an MBA course entitled Launching Global Ventures. He has received Harvard’s Distinction in Teaching award.
His research focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation, including the role of immigrant scientists and entrepreneurs in US technology development and commercialization, as well as their impact for the global diffusion of new innovations and ideas. His research also includes studying how government policies aid or hinder the entry of new firms, cluster formation, and growth. A final interest area is entrepreneurial finance and angel investments.
In 2013, Bill received the Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship.