Presenter: Keith Maskus, University of Colorado and NBER joint with Eric Stuen and Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
Abstract: We study the contribution of domestic and foreign doctoral students to innovation at 2300 American science and engineering departments from 1973 to 1998. Macroeconomic and policy shocks in source countries that differentially affect enrolments across fields and universities isolate exogenous variation in the supply of students. Both U.S. and international students contribute significantly to the production of knowledge at scientific laboratories, and their contributions are statistically comparable, consistent with an optimizing department. A theoretical model of scholarships helps us infer the productivity effects of student quality. Visa restrictions limiting entry of high-quality students are found to be particularly costly for academic innovation.