The US hosts over one million international students a year, but little is known about the return to American education abroad. I conduct a field experiment to study how employers value US college degrees in Chinese labor markets. I submit over 27,000 fictitious job applications to online postings for business and computer science jobs in China, randomizing college degrees between the US and China. I find that applicants with US college degrees are on average 18 percent less likely to receive a callback than applicants with degrees from China. Applicants from very selective US institutions underperform those from the least selective Chinese institutions. I provide evidence that the US-China callback gap is not driven by employer perceptions about negative selection of who leaves and who returns. Instead, I show that the gap is most consistent with both a greater perceived hiring cost for US degree holders and a lack of information on the value of an American education.
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