Project Details
Funding Scheme : Early Career Scheme
Project Number : 21502720
Project Title(English) : War for Talent: An Investigation on Acquihiring through Shortages Skilled Immigrants in the United States 
Project Title(Chinese) : 人才戰爭:透過研究在美國雇用外國技術型人才的收購雇用 
Principal Investigator(English) : Dr HSHIEH, Shenje 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Economics and Finance
Institution : City University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Business Studies
Subject Area : Business Studies
Exercise Year : 2020 / 21
Fund Approved : 351,992
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 30-6-2023
Abstract as per original application
In the knowledge-based economy, high-skilled labor has become increasingly influential in firm value creation. Yet the motivations for and consequences of strategically integrating skilled labor remain empirically unexplored in the M&A literature. In this project, we take a step towards understanding the role of skilled labor in M&A decision-making and ask whether changes to the skilled labor supply help explain M&A decisions of publicly traded firms. Large Silicon Valley technology companies such as Google and Facebook have faced significant talent shortages in recent years. This has resulted in the continued expansion of these large technology companies into other cities and states beyond Silicon Valley to access new populations of skilled labor. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in addition to direct hiring, "acquihiring", which is the practice of buying companies to acquire their talented employees rather than their projects and assets, has become a popular strategy to satisfy skilled labor demand. When the amount of highly talented individuals is in short supply, buying talent through M&A may be a more effective recruiting strategy for acquirers who are interested in teams rather than individuals. However, accurately identifying "acquihiring" is difficult, as acquirers rarely acknowledge their real intentions publicly. In this project, we seek first to answer the fundamental question: do firms pursue M&A in response to skilled labor shortages? Employing two natural experiments, one based on random lotteries that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services uses to allocate H-1B visas and the other based on a policy shock to the overall supply of skilled foreign labor through the H-1B program, we test whether shortages of skilled foreign workers can cause firms to pursue acquisitions. Our goal is to establish empirically a labor market channel in M&A. Bias in estimating labor synergies by comparing firm performance between those engaging in M&A and those that do not is problematic due to the inability to control for unobservable confounding factors. We plan to address this issue with another natural experiment that compares the performance of acquirers of completed labor-driven M&A deals to acquirers of labor-driven M&A deals that are withdrawn due to reasons unrelated to skilled labor and beyond the control of those involved in the deals. We predict that exogenously completed M&A deals with high levels of labor complementarity between acquirers and targets, which we will measure using job classification data from our H-1B visa micro-dataset, will improve acquirer performance in the long-term.
在知識經濟裡,高級技術型人才對創造企業價值越來越重要。然而,戰略性雇用高級技術型人才的動因及結果在收購與兼併文獻上未有進行經驗性研究。在這個項目裡,我們將進一步研究技術型人才在收購與兼併決策中的角色,及改變雇用技術型人才是否有助於上市公司的收購與兼併決策。 近年來,矽谷大型科技公司如谷歌和臉書面臨大量人才緊缺問題。因此這些大型科技公司在矽谷以外的其他城市或洲尋找技術型人才。軼事顯示除直接雇用外,“收購”,通過購買公司以獲取他們的員工而不是其項目或資產,成為了滿足這些公司技術人才短缺需求的流行策略。在高級技術型人才短缺的時候,透過收購與兼併獲得人才,對那些對團隊而非個人更有興趣的公司來說或許是更有效的策略。然而,要準確定義“收購雇用”是比較困難的,因為收購者很少公佈其真正意圖。 在此項目裡,我們首先回答基本問題:公司是否通過收購與兼併解決其人才短缺問題?我們進行了兩項自然實驗,一項基於美國公民及移民局隨機分配的H-1B簽證,而另一項基於H-1B簽證裡對海外技術型人才的總體供應的政策衝擊。我們測試是否缺乏海外技術型人才可以導致公司進行兼併。我們的目標是在收購與兼併裡創建基於經驗的人才管道。 由於無法觀察到的混雜因素,通過比較從事並購的公司與未有從事並購公司間的業績來估計人才協同效應是有有失偏頗的。我們計畫通過另一項自然實驗解決該問題,通過比較順利完成人才並購公司的業績與因為與人才無關或無法控制因素導致人才並購未完成公司之間的業績。此經驗策略來自並購交易中量化協同效應的現有文獻。我們預計,通過使用我們的H-1B簽證微觀資料裡面的工作分類,通過完成並購交易獲取與被收購物件間人才互補的公司,長遠來看將提升其業績表現。
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