W. Bradford Wiley Chair in International Economics; Professor of Economics
Contactcsparber@colgate.edu (315) 228-7967
I examine the causes and consequences of U.S. immigration with a focus on the connection between immigration and skills. My questions of interest include: What skills do immigrants bring to the U.S. economy? What are the economic effects of the increase in skills that immigrants bring to the U.S.? And how has U.S. government policy intervention changed the supply of immigrants’ skills?
Immigration, Labor, International, Urban
- PhD (2006), MA (2002), University of California-Davis
- BA (2000), Western Washington University
- Major: Economics
- Minor: Humanities
Links to most of my publications and working papers can also be found here or by request. (*Denotes undergraduate student coauthor.)
- “Immigration, Working Conditions, and Compensating Differentials” (with Madeline Zavodny), Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 75 (4): 1054-1081, August 2022. (Working Paper Version)
- “New Data and Facts on H-1B Workers across Firms” (with Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc Ortega, Giovanni Peri, and Kevin Shih) in The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Edited by Ina Ganguli, Shulamit Kahn, Megan MacGarvie, University of Chicago Press. February 2020.
- “Estimating the Determinants of Remittances Originating from U.S. Households using CPS Data” (with Nicole B. Simpson), Eastern Economic Journal, Vol. 46 (1): 161-189, January 2020.
- “Substitution between Groups of Highly-Educated, Foreign-Born, H-1B Workers,” Labour Economics, Vol. 61, December 2019.
- “The Effect of the H-1B Quota on the Employment and Selection of Foreign-Born Labor” (with Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc Ortega, Giovanni Peri, and Kevin Shih), European Economic Review, Vol. 108: 105-128, September 2018. (Published Paper)
- “Choosing Skilled Foreign-Born Workers: Evaluating Alternative Methods for Allocating H-1B Work Permits,” Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 57 (1): 3-34, January 2018. (Published Paper, Working Paper 2017) [Earlier Version Title: “Building a Better H-1B Program” (Working Paper 2015)]
- “The Native-Born Occupational Skill Response to Immigration within Education and Experience Cells” (with Emily Gu*), Eastern Economic Journal, Vol. 43 (3): 426-450, June 2017. (Working Paper Version)
- “The Effect of Legal Status on Immigrant Wages and Occupational Skills” (with Quinn Steigleder*, undergraduate student), Applied Economics Letters, Vol. 24 (2): 80-84, 2017. (Published Paper; Working Paper)
- “Skilled Immigrants: Economic Contribution and Policy Implications” (with Francesc Ortega) in Refugees and Economic Migrants: Facts, Policies, and Challenges, Francesco Fasani ed., London: CEPR Press, Centre for Economic Policy Research, October 2016. Pages 81-97. VoxEU.org eBook
- “STEM Workers, H-1B Visas, and Productivity in US Cities” (with Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih), Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 33 (No. S1, US High-Skilled Immigration in the Global Economy): S225-S255, July 2015. (Published Paper; Working Paper 2013)
- “In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants and its Impact on College Enrollment, Tuition Costs, Student Financial Aid, and Indebtedness” (with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes), Regional Studies and Urban Economics, Vol. 49: 11-24, November 2014. (Published Paper; Working Paper 2012)
- “Foreign Scientists and Engineers and Economic Growth” (with Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih), Cato Papers on Public Policy, Vol. 3: 107-184, 2014. (Published Paper)
- “Migration Theory” (with Örn B. Bodvarsson and Nicole Simpson) in Handbook on the Economics of International Migration, Barry Chiswick and Paul Miller, eds., Amsterdam: North Holland (Elsevier), 2015. Pages 3-51. ISBN-13: 978-0-444-53764-5
- “Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less-Educated Immigration Flows into U.S. States” (with Nicole Simpson), Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 80 (2): 414-438, October 2013. (Published Paper; Working Paper)
- “Quotas and Quality: The Effect of H-1B Visa Restrictions on the Pool of Prospective Undergraduate Students from Abroad” (with Takao Kato), Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 95 (1): 109-126, March 2013. (Published Paper)
- “Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice” (with Giovanni Peri), Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 50 (3): 385-411, July 2011. (Published Paper; Working Paper 2010)
- “Assessing Inherent Model Bias: An Application to Native Displacement in Response to Immigration” (with Giovanni Peri), Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 69 (1): 82-91, January 2011. (Published Paper; Working Paper)
- “Racial Diversity and Macroeconomic Productivity across U.S. States and Cities,” Regional Studies, Vol. 44 (1): 71-85, February 2010. (Published Paper; Working Paper)
- “Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages” (with Giovanni Peri), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 1 (3): 135-169, July 2009. (Published Paper) [Earlier Version Title: “Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages”. (Working Paper)]
- “Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in US Industries: 1980-2000,” Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 75 (3): 829-856, January 2009. (Published Paper; Working Paper) [Earlier Version Title: “Racial Diversity and Economic Productivity - Industry Level Evidence”]
- “A Theory of Racial Diversity, Segregation, and Productivity,” Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 87 (2): 210-226, October 2008. (Published Paper; Working Paper)
- “Buying Lottery Tickets for Foreign Workers: Search Cost Externalities Induced by H-1B Policy” (with Rishi Sharma), IZA Discussion Paper No. 13892, November 2020.
- “Coping with H-1B Shortages: Firm Performance and Mitigation Strategies” (with Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc Ortega, Giovanni Peri, and Kevin Shih), NBER Working Paper 27730, August 2020.
- “Foreign and Native Skilled Workers: What Can We Learn from H-1B Lotteries?” (with Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih), NBER Working Paper 21175, May 2015.
- “Foreign STEM Workers and Native Wages and Employment in U.S. Cities” (with Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih), NBER Working Paper 20093, May 2014.
- “Unemployment, Skills, and the Business Cycle since 2000” (with Jasmine Sijie Fan*), Colgate Economics Faculty Working Paper 2011-04, September 2012.
- “Buying Lottery Tickets for Foreign Workers: Search‐Cost Externalities Induced by H-1B Policy” (with Rishi Sharma), Cato Institute Research Briefs in Economic Policy, Number 246, January 2021
- “Op-Ed: Want More American Jobs? Reopen America to Foreign Workers” (with Giovanni Peri), Los Angeles Times, 24 August 2020
- “The Devastating Economic Consequences of Pushing Foreign Students Out of the Country” (with Giovanni Peri, and Kevin Shih), Policy Brief, UC Davis Global Migration Center, 13 July 2020
- “Presidential Executive Actions Halting High Skilled Immigration Hurt the US Economy” (with Giovanni Peri), Policy Brief, UC Davis Global Migration Center, 2 July 2020
- “The Unintended Selection Effects of Cutting the H-1B Quota” (with Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc Ortega, Giovanni Peri, and Kevin Shih), VoxEU, 1 April 2018
- “An Alternative to the H-1B Lottery,” Cato Institute Research Briefs in Economic Policy, Number 84, September 2017
- “Closing Economic Windows: How H-1B Visa Denials Cost U.S.-Born Tech Workers Jobs and Wages During the Great Recession” (with Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, and Angie Marek Zeitlin), Partnership for a New American Economy, 4 June 2014
- “How Highly Educated Immigrants Raise Native Wages” (with Giovanni Peri and Kevin Shih), VoxEU, 29 May 2014
Policy Briefings, Testimony, and Presentations
- Council on Foreign Relations 2022 Local Journalists Workshop, Immigration and the Economy; New York, NY; April 2022
- Evidentiary Declaration on skilled immigration in DOMINGO ARREGUIN GOMEZ, et al., v. DONALD J. TRUMP civil action.
- Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, Testimony on “The Impact of High-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Workers”; Washington, DC; February 25, 2016
- Written Testimony
- Responses to Questions for the Record from Chairman Grassley
- Capitol Hill Briefing, “Understanding and Improving the H-1B Visa Program”; Washington, DC; April 2015
- Center for American Progress, “Convening on the Economics of Immigration” (Labor Market Effects of Immigration and Legalization Panel); Washington, DC; November 2014
- Georgetown University McCourt School Policy Conference (Economics Panel); February 2014
- Panelist, The Ivory Tower, WCNY Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Member Television Station, Syracuse, New York. June 2021 – Present
Selected News, Blog, and Policy Citations
- Forbes (2023): H-1B workers and recessions.
- Time (2022): Quotes about the H-1B program and ways it can be changed.
- Forbes (2022): The H-1B Lottery as bad immigration law.
- Forbes (2021): Potential Changes to the H-1B program in 2021.
- Forbes (2021): Harming the economy by reducing immigration.
- Forbes (2021): On vacancies in computer-related occupations.
- Forbes (2021): Policy-maker attempts to end the H-1B program.
- Axios (2020): Immigration is not a zero sum game.
- Forbes (2020): Concerns about H-1B restrictions.
- Yahoo Finance and Forbes (2019): Evidence on H-1B and jobs.
- Forbes (2018): Evidence on H-1B and productivity.
- Reuters (2018): A quote about research on refugees.
- Christian Science Monitor (2018): A quote on H-1B workers and team-building.
- Forbes (2018): H-1Bs exhausted again.
- Bloomberg (2018): On cuts to the H-1B program.
- Forbes (2017): The diversity visa lottery.
- New York Times (2017): On the importance of low-skilled immigrants.
- NPR Marketplace (2017): Three economists' reactions to the Cotton-Perdue RAISE Act.
- HuffPost (2017): A call for skill-based immigration reform.
- Bloomberg (2017): A comment about robots taking Americans' jobs.
- The Conversation (2017): Op-ed written by my coauthor, Kevin Shih.
- Harvard Business School and Cato (2017): Op-eds citing benefits of immigration.
- Washington Post Wonkblog (2016): H-1B and job creation.
- Fox Business (2016): On illegal immigration.
- Daily Caller (2016) and The Conversation (2016): An article about how immigrants fuel economic growth.
- PolitiFact (2016): Fact-checking Hillary Clinton.
- Cato Institute (2015): Our research cited in criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D).
- Cato Institute (2015): Our research cited in criticism of Sen. Jefferson Sessions (R).
- The Federalist and BloombergView (2015): Our research cited in criticism of Gov. Scott Walker (R).
- Newsweek (2015): An opinion page entry by Tim Kane arguing that "one can oppose the Obama administration’s executive actions... and still favor more legal immigration."
- NY Times Opinion Pages (2015): Immigrants and efficient labor allocation.
- Council of Economic Advisers (2014): A document outlining the economic rationale for President Obama's executive action on immigration.
- PBS Newshour, Making Sen$e (2014): A brief summary of the summary in the NBER Digest.
- NBER Digest (2014): Technical summary of our STEM immigration work.
- Wall Street Journal and WSJ Real Time Economics Blog (2014): STEM immigrants and native wage and employment growth.
- The Daily Caller and Vox (2014): Foreign STEM workers and US productivity growth.
- Washington Post Innovations (2013): I take no position on the article's title, "We Don't Need More Humanities Majors," but I appreciate the citation about the importance of foreign STEM workers.
- New York Times Blog (2013): Comprehensive immigration reform and the effects of less-educated immigrants.
- Washington Post Wonkblog and The Daily Caller (2013): Skill specialization of less-educated workers and controversial comments by a Marco Rubio aide.
- The Times of India (Article 1, Article 2) and ZD Net (2013): H-1B benefits from an Indian media perspective.
- Forbes (2013): Arguments supporting expansion of the H-1B program (a favorable citation).
- The Atlantic (2013): Arguments against expansion of the H-1B program (a less-than-favorable citation).
- Wall Street Journal (2013): An op-ed piece about highly educated immigrants' contributions to U.S. productivity.
- New York Times (2012): An article arguing that immigration has not responsible for declines in the U.S. standard of living.
- New York Times Blog (2012): A lengthier discussion of immigration and jobs.
- Cato Institute (2012): A policy piece using my co-authored research as evidence that the U.S. should not restrict immigration.
- Colgate (2011): Video on the effects of H-1B policy on university education.
- Federal Reserve (2010): A brief summary of immigration’s effect on the U.S. labor market.
- Daily Kos (2008): A blog that calls my co-authored work “typical neoclassical pig manure… by bloviating nimrod economist(s).”
- Milken Institute (2007): More evidence on the gains from immigration.
- Newsweek (2007): Fareed Zakaria’s take on our research.
- Puget Sound Business Journal (2001): A piece of urban economics from my first job after college.
- Kitsap Sun (1999): My undergraduate contribution to urban economics.
- Bremerton Sun (1989): My first public opinion on an economic issue has changed since age 12.