A Snapshot of Occupational Licensing Regulation in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States
In this policy brief, we use a novel dataset generated using OL RegData to explore differences in the stringency of occupational licensing for select states in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic region. Indiana has more occupational licensing restrictions and words than any other state in our comparison group, and Ohio is a close second. Pennsylvania has the fewest occupational licensing restrictions and words and the shortest average sentence length. Perhaps not surprisingly, occupational licensing restrictions are most prevalent in healthcare. More granular comparisons of occupational licensing across states suggest that there are significant differences in the burden of state regulation. It is not immediately clear why regulations should differ to this degree for professions that do not greatly differ across states. With this additional information in hand, policymakers should carefully reconsider occupational licensing laws and make sure that those laws are not overly burdensome and are providing the right mix of consumer protection and flexibility.
Kofi Ampaabeng, Conor Norris, and Edward J. Timmons