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Kevin Shih Publications

Publish Date
Journal of Labor Economics

Do foreign students affect the likelihood that domestic students obtain a STEM degree and occupation? Using administrative student records from a US university, we exploit idiosyncratic variation in the share of foreign classmates in introductory math classes and find that foreign classmates displace domestic students from STEM majors and occupations. However, displaced students gravitate toward high-earning social science majors, so their expected earnings are not penalized. We explore several mechanisms. Results indicate that displacement is concentrated in classes where foreign classmates possess weak English language ability, suggesting that diminished in-class communication and social interactions might play an important role.