The Labor Market Pathways and Employment Outcomes of IT Workers with H-1B Visas

Robin Savinar, UC Davis
January 19, 2017

Robin Savinar's paper

Comments by Jingjin Chen

Comments by Brian W. Halpin

Robin Savinar, UCD sociology graduate student, used an on-line survey to obtain employment history, visa history, and demographic information on 683 foreign- and US-born workers in order to determine how beginning to work in an outsourcing firm affected earnings and job quality over time, that is, she collected data in 2016 to construct a longitudinal picture of earnings and job mobility.

A subsample of 113 current H-1B holders employed by outsourcers and 178 direct-hire H-1B visa holders, almost all India's, was examined. Almost half of the direct hires, versus a quarter of the outsourcer employees were previously foreign students with F-visas, and over half of the drect hires, but only a quarter of the outsourcer employees, earned their highest degree in the US.

Savinar found that those whose first job was with outsourcers did not have a persisting earnings disadvantage, but did have more precarious jobs.