Bhavesh Viswanath took home top honors at the annual Carlson School’s Undergraduate Honors Thesis Recognition and Poster Presentation on April 23.

Viswanath’s winning project is titled “Can Firms Import Innovation? The Impact of H-1B Visa Sponsorship on Financial Performance” and was awarded the Dean’s Award for Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis. This year, 20 senior undergraduate honors students took part in the event and had their research displayed.

The winning thesis was supervised by Paul Vaaler, associate professor and John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law and Business Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, and his two readers were Joseph Ritter and Ryan Allen.

Viswanath analyzed data on H-1B visa holders in Fortune 500 firms using state-of-the-art dynamic panel generalized method of moments estimators for his research.

“Bhavesh’s research is genuinely new and novel,” Vaaler says of Viswanath’s nomination. “There is no extant broad-sample statistical evidence regarding whether and how skilled migrant workers increase innovation effort in firms. None. So his question stands out.”

Viswanath was awarded the Dean’s Award for Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis at the annual Honors Thesis Recognition and Poster Presentation on April 23. The event recognizes the best of Carlson School student thesis projects.

A Carlson School honors degree culminates with an honors thesis project, a yearlong venture that allows students to dive deep into a specific topic.

Research from the undergraduates focused on a wide variety of business areas including transportation barriers in North Minneapolis to studying trust and influence in an era of social media marketing, and from analyzing the effect of Apple Pay adoption on firm value to reviewing the effect of changes in China’s standard of living on Southeast Asian export patterns.

In all of the projects, students had to apply rigorous methodological approaches, including survey construction, interviews, and event student methodologies.

As the thesis award winner, Viswanath will be recognized in the Carlson School commencement booklet.

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