The Impact of International Graduate Students on US Graduate Education

Event Date

2203 SS&H | Andrews Conference Room | UC Davis

This paper examines whether international students affect native enrollment in graduate programs. I study a unique boom and bust cycle in international graduate enrollment at U.S. Research universities from 1995-2005. To mitigate endogeneity bias I develop supply-driven instruments by interacting historical university-level graduate enrollment by country of origin with college age (18-30) population growth in the respective sending countries, for the boom, and 9/11 policy induced declines in student visa issuance to each country group, for the bust. Results reveal that foreign students crowd in natives–1 additional (fewer) foreign student leads to 1 additional (fewer) native. Effects appear stronger for natives in STEM than certain non-STEM fields (i.e. Education, Law, and Business). Peer effects that spur native demand, and complementarities with faculty that relax supply constraints appear to explain the crowd in effects. 

 Kevin Shih
Kevin Shih
Assistant Professor
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Kevin Shih is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has received his PhD in Economics at UC Davis in 2015. He is a native of Queens, NY and received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College. 


Event Category