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How H-1B Work Visas Transformed Tech and Education in the US and India (PRI)

August 28, 2017

From the article:

New research from the Center for Global Development finds the H-1B visa program has had large net benefits for the US economy and its workers. On average, American workers are better off by $431 million a year in productivity because of it, the study finds.

Indian nationals constitute more than two-thirds of all current H-1B visa holders. The study suggests the H-1B program has been a key factor in a shift in computer science and engineering education for American and Indian students.

Lead researcher Guarav Khanna conducted the study while a fellow at the center. He is now an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. He says the H-1B program, combined with the tech boom in the early 1990s and 2000s, changed the way Indian and American students pursued higher education.

“Indian students began investing in these tech skills with the hope of getting job offers from companies in the US through the H-1B program,” he says. “That growing demand created more of an entry for engineering colleges and the expansion of majors that were offered in computer science and engineering fields both in India and the US.”

According to his research, the chance of migrating to the US and earning higher wages meant more Indian students enrolled in computer science or engineering programs. The study analyzed data from US Census Data For Social, Economic and Health Research, National Bureau of Economic Research, Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System and India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies.

Read full article here.

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