State-Level Determinants of EB-5 Investment
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In 1993 Congress established the Regional Center Pilot Program. This pilot program allows EB-5 Immigrant Investors to use economic forecasts to estimate the number of jobs created as a result of their investment, therefore creating an alternative avenue for investors to achieve the minimum 10 jobs required to obtain citizenship in the United States. During the federal fiscal years of 2010 and 2011 approximately 90% of EB-5 Immigrant Investors made investments through Regional Centers.
Though the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has attracted at least $6.8 billion of investment to the United States since its inception, some states have benefitted from the program more than others. For example, during the federal fiscal years of 2010 and 2011, EB-5 Immigrant Investors financed Regional Center projects in only 24 states. Using logistic regression, this paper explores the relationship between state-level EB-5 Investment during the federal fiscal years of 2010 and 2011 and the independent variables of market size, wage, unions, taxes, immigration, innovation, unemployment, and rural area. The regression determined that immigration was a statistically significant determinant of EB-5 Investment during the federal fiscal years of 2010 and 2011. A recommendation of this paper is that policymakers seeking to attract EB-5 Investment should support policies that encourage immigrants to settle within their states, as immigration has been shown to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship, job creation, and international trade. This paper also encourages the release of disaggregated data on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as more detailed information on the program can lead to the identification of additional determinants of EB-5 Investment and inspire targeted policy solutions that can help states attract investment and jobs through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.