US visa ban: Trump ban on visas cost the US economy $100 billion: Study – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/trump-ban-on-visas-cost-the-us-economy-100-billion-study/articleshow/78787355.cmsSynopsis

The June 22 Proclamation, which barred the entry of H-1B, L-1 and J1 visa holders till the end of the year, was eventually suspended by a US district court in early October. This study focused on H-1B and L-1 visas as they are of relevance to the top companies.

PUNE: US President Donald Trump’s Proclamation in June baring the entry of non-immigrant work permit holders may have cost the economy $100 billion, according to a new working paper from The Brookings Institution, a public policy research organisation based in Washington, DC.

The paper, ‘An Executive Order worth $100 billion: The impact of an immigration ban’s announcement on Fortune 500 firms’ valuation’, found that it had negative cumulative average abnormal return (CAAR) of 0.45%, or $100 billion in losses on Fortune 500 firms based on their valuation before the order.

The results were more pronounced for firms that had a higher reliance on skilled immigrant workers, especially those in financial services and information technology.

The June 22 Proclamation, which barred the entry of H-1B, L-1 and J1 visa holders till the end of the year, was eventually suspended by a US district court in early October. This study focused on H-1B and L-1 visas as they are of relevance to the top companies.

Earlier studies have found that restricting the H-1B visa program would result in more jobs moving overseas and a drop in innovation in the United States.

This paper, by Dany Bahar (The Brookings Institution, Harvard), Prithwiraj Choudhury (Harvard Business School) and Britta Glennon (The Wharton School UPenn, NBER) is possibly the first paper to compute the actual short-term impact of the visa ban.

“Our results support the hypothesis… that restrictions on skilled visas represent a supply shock to U.S. firms. While there may be longer run adjustments –such as offshoring – that U.S. firms can make when their access to skilled labor supply is abruptly constrained, one would also expect a short-run negative impact prior to any such adjustments, which is precisely what we document here,” the paper said.

“Furthermore, while the prior literature is focused on studying the effects of the H-1B visa policy on firm outcomes in equilibrium, we complement the prior literature by studying the effects of how a policy shock to the H-1B visa program affects market valuation of U.S. firms in the immediate term,” it said.

Indians have been the largest beneficiaries of the H-1B programme, receiving about 70% of the 85,000 visas issued annually. In recent years, more visas have been issued to American technology firms like Google, Apple and Microsoft compared to Indian IT services providers.

An estimated 200,000 foreign workers and their dependants were barred from entering the country under the travel ban. India’s software exports last fiscal year stood at $147 billion.

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