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Gaurav Khanna is an assistant professor of economics at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development. His research focuses on development economics, labor economics and applied econometrics. Many of his current projects concentrate on education policy, high-skill immigration, infrastructure, public-works programs and conflict. Prior to joining UC San Diego, Khanna was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC and a consultant for the World Bank’s Poverty and Inequality Unit.
Amidst the ongoing debates in both the United States and India about the H-1B visa program, our new paper demonstrates the positive impacts of the H-1B visa program in both the United States and India. We find that the program provides benefits to US and Indian workers and consumers, and that it is a contributing factor to the expanding hi-tech sectors in both countries.
With the majority of all H-1B visas going to Indians, we study how US immigration policy coupled with the internet boom affected both the US and Indian economies, and in particular both countries’ IT sectors. The H-1B scheme led to a tech boom in both countries, inducing substantial gains in firm productivity and consumer welfare in both the United States and India. We find that the US-born workers gained $431 million in 2010 as a result of the H-1B scheme.
In our research (a draft of which is available here: Khanna and Morales 2017) we show that the H-1B visa programme had a powerful impact on the US IT sector, and played a prominent role in spreading the boom to India.
The Trump administration's signature policy proposal to control immigration more tightly has been the most contentious issue of the early days of this presidency. In this podcast we seek to add some facts to the debate.
Several recent articles about President Trump’s executive order on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries have looked at how it affects thousands of international students all across the US. At stake here is not only their ability to benefit from a US education, but also how the US benefits from having students from those countries at American institutions, in terms of revenue, future productivity, and jobs. My own research, using both administrative and survey data, shows that the costs of this ban to the US will include costs to public universities and lost global talent from abroad. The US is the largest "exporter" of higher education services, and the ban could hit universities with a revenue loss of around $200 million a year, with larger impacts on the local economies around campuses.
On August 2, the White House unveiled a plan to make drastic cuts to legal immigration. CGD experts have written and researched extensively on this hot topic, and have been quoted widely in recent media coverage. Spoiler alert: immigration has an overwhelmingly net positive effect on the US economy.