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Working Papers

December 2019, No. 19-20R

High-Skill Migration, Multinational Companies, and the Location of Economic Activity (Revised March 2023)

Nicolas Morales

This paper aims to understand the relationship between high-skill immigration and multinational activity. I assemble a novel firm-level dataset on high-skill visas and show that there is a large home bias effect: foreign multinationals hire more immigrants from their home countries than from other origins. I then build and estimate a quantitative model that relates multinational production with immigration. First, I impose a restrictive immigration policy in the US and evaluate how it affects production and wages. Second, I increase the barriers to multinational production and show that immigration is an important channel to quantify the welfare gains generated by multinationals.


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