2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Jury is Still Out on Occupational Licensing


Nicholas Thiele* and rachel Owings
Dr. David Gillette, Faculty Mentor

Inconsistency in occupational licensing gives rise to many questions about legislation that restricts who may work in certain professions.  Why are licenses required for certain occupations in some states, and not in others? Does licensing affect occupation choice or wages in those occupations? Economic theory predicts that the requirement for a license would limit the amount of people choosing that occupation statewide, as well as increase wages in that occupation.  Using data on licensed occupations from the Institute for Justice and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we obtained a random sample of thirty occupations with inconsistent licensing legislation across the states. Along with the licensing data, we used statewide data such as GDP, employment, median salary, and a cost of living index to account for state variability.  Regression analysis generated a few occupations that stood out, but largely our data were inconclusive.

Keywords: Occupational Licensing, Institute for Justice, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Choice

Topic(s):Economics
Statistics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 310-6
Location: MC 211
Time: 2:45

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