Jonathan Smith

First name
Jonathan
Last name
Smith

Year of Publication
2020
Abstract

The F-1 student visa program brings more educated migrants to the US than any other immigration program, yet student visa applicants face an approximately 27 percent visa refusal rate that varies by time and region. Using data on the universe of SAT takers between 2004 and 2015 matched with college enrollment records, we examine how the anticipated F-1 visa restrictiveness influences US undergraduate enrollment outcomes of international students. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that a higher anticipated F-1 student visa refusal rate decreases the number of international SAT takers, decreases the probability of sending SAT scores to US colleges, and decreases international student enrollment in the US. The decreases are larger among international students with higher measured academic achievement. We also document academic achievement of international students and show that over 40 percent of high-scoring international SAT takers do not pursue US college education.

Number
640
Date Published
04/2020
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
11686
Chen, M., Howell, J., & Smith, J. (2020). Best and Brightest? The Impact of Student Visa Restrictiveness on Who Attends College in the US. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01c534fr83n (Original work published 04/2020AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

Family and social networks are widely believed to influence important life decisions but identifying their causal effects is notoriously difficult. Using admissions thresholds that directly affect older but not younger siblings’ college options, we present evidence from the United States, Chile, Sweden and Croatia that older siblings’ college and major choices can significantly influence their younger siblings’ college and major choices. On the extensive margin, an older sibling’s enrollment in a better college increases a younger sibling’s probability of enrolling in college at all, especially for families with low predicted probabilities of enrollment. On the intensive margin, an older sibling’s choice of college or major increases the probability that a younger sibling applies to and enrolls in that same college or major. Spillovers in major choice are stronger when older siblings enroll and succeed in more selective and higher-earning majors. The observed spillovers are not well-explained by price, income, proximity or legacy effects, but are most consistent with older siblings transmitting otherwise unavailable information about the college experience and its potential returns. The importance of such personally salient information may partly explain persistent differences in college-going rates by geography, income, and other determinants of social networks.

Number
641
Date Published
05/2020
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
11696
Neilson, C., Altmejd, A., Barrios-Fernandez, A., Drlje, M., Goodman, J., Hurwitz, M., et al. (2020). O Brother, Where Start Thou? Sibling Spillovers on College and Major Choice in Four Countries. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp018623j164m (Original work published 05/2020AD)
Working Papers