The impact of foreign graduate students on the level of innovation in the United States is an important topic. This paper contributes to the literature by developing an economic model that explores the effects of foreign graduate students and postdoctorates on the national innovation capacity of the US. The economic model draws from Solow and Romer and the results indicate that postdoctorates have a significant and positive impact on innovation capacity of the US. Ceteris paribus, a 1% increase in foreign postdoctorates per labor force leads to an 11.85% increase in patent grants, three years after the inputs after employed. Similarly, a 1% increase in foreign postdoctorates per labor force increases patent grants by 16.00%, five years after the inputs are employed. The results from foreign graduate students show a significant but negative relationship with innovation activity. Upon conclusion, foreign postdoctorates play an important role in expanding US national innovation capacity.


Duffus, LuAnn

Second Advisor

Sell, John




Labor Relations | Technology and Innovation


immigrants, students, innovation, technology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Muhammad Daud