Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Uneven Hedging of Economic Risks for a Skilled Workforce: Are Immigrants Disadvantaged?

TitleUneven Hedging of Economic Risks for a Skilled Workforce: Are Immigrants Disadvantaged?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHao, L, Warkentien, S
JournalPopul Space Place
Date PublishedJul
ISBN Number1544-8444 (Print)1544-8444
Accession Number27605891
Keywordseconomic risk, labor market outcome, skilled immigration, spatial mobility, visa pattern

Skilled immigration to the United States has been multi-channeled via legislations on permanent and temporary visa programs. This paper argues that skilled immigrants were not disadvantaged during the Great Recession because of a new hedging mechanism, which starts with the federal legislations that admit skilled nonimmigrants, proceeds to vest authority in employers, who perform rigorous screening and selection of temporary workers for future permanency, and ends with greater protection of those selected. To test this mechanism, the paper examines skilled immigrants' spatial mobility out of the country and their domestic labor market outcomes. The paper presents evidence from analyzing repeated, nationally representative survey data of college graduates in the US using demographic techniques of intra-cohort and inter-cohort analyses. The major findings about the substantial cross-border mobility and high levels of labor force participation among at-entry temporary visa holders who later gained permanent residency provide strong evidence to support our proposed new hedging mechanism.