On March 15th and 16th, the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation co-sponsored an “International Symposium on the Regulation of Occupations” with the Department of Management at the London School of Economics and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The conference featured researchers from Europe and the United States. A selection of papers from the conference were submitted for peer review for possible publication in a special issue of the British Journal of Industrial Relations.
Below are summaries of the presentations. Please feel free contact us for more information on the papers, presentations and conference.
Kyle Albert (Harvard University) and Mark Gough (Pennsylvania State University)
Who Supports Professional Certification? Insights from Employment Arbitration
This paper examines the pattern of professional certification program advancement over the last few years. Programs have become more common across the occupational structure as professions have begun creating their own certification program. The findings indicate a low overall level of support for certification in an original survey of the profession.
Peter Blair (Clemson University)
How Much of a Barrier to Entry is Occupational Licensing?
This paper exploits differences in licensing laws to examine the effects of licensing on occupational choice using a boundary discontinuity design. The findings indicate that licensing reduces labor supply by 17%-27%. Considering additional licensing requirements, such as continuing education and felony bans, negatively effects workers.
Samuel Ingram (University of Kentucky)
Occupational Licensing and the Earnings Premium: A Border Approach
Using recent survey data from the United States, this paper extends the occupational licensing literature by isolating unobserved geographic and occupational effects. The results provide evidence against alternative explanations of higher earnings in these licensed occupations.
Maria Koumenta (Queen Mary University)
Occupational Regulation in the European Union: Coverage and Wage Effects (Jointly with Mario Pagliero)
This paper presents the first European Union-wide study on the prevalence and labor market impact of occupational regulation within the EU. Licensing affects about 22 percent of workers in the EU, although there is significant variability across member states and occupations. The results also show considerable heterogeneity in the wage gains by occupation and level of educational attainment.
Michal Masior (Warsaw School of Economics)
Does it pay off to deregulate legal professions? (Jointly with Piotr Białowolski)
This paper provides both subjective and objective assessments of change in the quality of legal professional services in Poland. The results indicate that an increase in the number of legal professionals did not coincide with the increased number of reported misconduct among the professionals.
Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)
Occupational closure, licensing and skills mismatch among immigrant workers in Germany
This paper studies i) whether immigrants have similar access to occupationally closed and regulated (licensed) occupations, and ii) whether they gain by these regulations in terms of similar wages in these occupations than comparable non-immigrants. The theoretical foundations of this paper are concepts of signaling and occupational closure. Results support an ambivalent picture of the regulation of occupations.
Davud Rostam-Afschar and Kristina Strohmaier (Universitaet Hohenheim)
Does Regulation Trade-Off Quality vs. Inequality? The Case of German Architects and Construction Engineers
The study exploit an exogenous price increase for architectural services to answer the question how price regulation affects income inequality and service quality. Using data from the German microcensus, results show a significant reform effect on personal net income and on inequality for self-employed architects and construction engineers.
Edward Timmons (Saint Francis University) and Robert Thornton (Lehigh University)
There and Back Again: The De-licensing and Re-licensing of Barbers in Alabama
The de-licensing and re-licensing of barbers in Alabama is observed as a natural experiment to gauge the impact of occupational licensing. Results suggest that licensing had been restricting competition in the market for hair-cutting services in Alabama.
Marek Zapletal (The Brattle Group)
The Effects of Occupational Licensing: Evidence from Detailed Business-Level Data
This study uses confidential U.S. Census Bureau micro-data to shed light on the effect of occupational licensing on key business outcomes and study its effect on the providers of occupational training. The results suggest that occupational licensing regulation does not seem to affect the equilibrium number of practitioners or prices of services to consumers, but is associated with significantly lower practitioner entry and exit rates as models of entry barriers predict.
Tingting Zhang (University of Toronto)
Effects of Occupational Licensing and Unions on Labour Market Earnings in Canada
Based on longitudinal data from the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, this study suggests the importance of unobservable factors that correlate with licensing and union status in determining the wage premium of workers. In addition, unionized workers are more likely to access standard fringe benefits. However, licensed workers seem to not benefit much from their licensing status in terms of access to benefits.
Photo Credit: Dr. Peter Blair (Currently, Harvard University)