Trends in Skilled Migration to the United States

Mariano Sana, Louisiana State University
Katharine M. Donato, Vanderbilt University
Laurie Chancey, Louisiana State University

Among the foreign-born age 25 and older, 27.3% (over 7 million individuals) have a bachelor’s degree or higher, matching the proportion among natives of the same age. Yet, there is a dearth of research on skilled migration and on how immigration policy and macroeconomic factors have affected it. Policies aimed at skilled migration included changes in the annual cap on H-1B visas and an exemption from the cap granted to universities and non-profit organizations. We will fill this vacuum by tracking changes in the number and composition of the skilled immigrant population by occupation, education, region of origin, and other variables. Using CPS data from 1994 to 2006, we propose to study these changes, tentatively linking them to U.S. immigration policy and other macro level developments.

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Presented in Session 20: International Migration