reference library

/reference library
reference library2018-06-08T14:23:35-07:00

This website features a collection of links to outside resources, many of which were cited in The Captured Economy, for readers interested in learning more about regressive regulation.

To filter the reference library by topic, please use the links on a topic page or open this page on a full-size screen and use the provided menu.

Who Values Human Capitalists’ Human Capital? Healthcare Spending and Physician Earnings

Joshua D. Gottlieb, Maria Polyakova, Kevin Rinz, Hugh Shiplett, and Victoria Udalova


July 22, 2020

Is government guiding the invisible hand at the top of the labor market? We study this question among physicians, the most common occupation among the top one percent of income…
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When Examinees Cannot Test: The Pandemic’s Assault on Certification and Licensure

Michael G. Jodoin and Jonathan D. Rubright

Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice

July 23, 2020

The COVID‐19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world economy as shelter‐in‐place regulations forced individuals to stay at and work from home. Brick and mortar testing centers, whether run as part…
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Occupational Licensing and Labor Market Fluidity

Morris M. Kleiner and Ming Xu


July 2020

We show that occupational licensing has significant negative effects on labor market fluidity defined as cross-occupation mobility. Using a balanced panel of workers constructed from the CPS and SIPP data,…
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State Scope of Practice Laws, Nurse-Midwifery Workforce, and Childbirth Procedures and Outcomes.

Tony Yang, Laura Attanasio, and Katy Kozhimannil

Women's Health Issues

June 2016

“Despite research indicating that health, cost, and quality of care outcomes in midwife-led maternity care are comparable with and in some case preferable to those for patients with physician-led care,…
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Professional certifications and occupational licenses: evidence from the Current Population Survey

Evan Cunningham

Bureau of Labor Statistics

June 2019

This article uses data from the Current Population Survey to analyze the role of professional certifications and occupational licenses in the U.S. labor market. It discusses the prevalence of these…
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Medicare Graduate Medical Education Funding is Not Addressing the Primary Care Shortage: We Need a Radically Different Approach

Bruce Steinwald, Paul Ginsburg, Caitlin, Brandt, Sobin Lee, and Kavita Patel


December 2018

A growing body of evidence shows that areas with robust primary care systems tend to have better outcomes and lower per capita costs than areas that rely more on specialists….
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Comments on Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence by David Howell, Dean Baker, Andrew Glyn, and John Schmitt

James J. Heckman



Howell, Baker, Glyn, and Schmitt (HBGS) challenge the consensus view (the “orthodox” view, as they call it) on the causes of European unemployment trends. Numerous papers in this literature examine…
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Professional Protectionists: The Gains From Free Trade in Highly Paid Professional Services

Dean Baker


Publication date here

The term “free trade” has been grossly misused in trade debates. Free trade has generally meant removing barriers on trade in goods, the effect of which is to put downward…
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A brief history of pharmacist prescribing in the UK

Wasim Baqir, David Miller, and Graeme Richardson

European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

September 8, 2012

Pharmacists have been prescribing in the UK since 2003, following the success of nurse prescribing. The review of prescribing, supply and administration of medicines (the second Crown Report) in 1999…
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A Snapshot of Occupational Licensing Regulation in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States

Kofi Ampaabeng, Conor Norris, and Edward J. Timmons

A Snapshot of Occupational Licensing Regulation in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States

August 2020

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…
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Not-so Sweet Home Alabama: How Licensing Holds Back the Yellowhammer State

Edward Timmons and Conor Norris

Archbridge Institute

March 2021

COVID-19 and our response have caused economic disruption, forcing businesses to close and millions to become unemployed. Although we have seen some recovery, the number of people currently unemployed remains…
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Second Chances: The Importance of Occupational Licensing Reform to Arkansas’s Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives

Stephen Slivinski and Thomas Snyder

Arkansas Center for Research in Economics

February 2019

Arkansas policy makers are aware of their state’s high criminal recidivism rates (the percentage of released prisoners that reoffend). The criminal justice reforms in Arkansas have also indicated that policy…
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Occupational Licensing and Immigrants

Hugh Cassidy and Tennecia Dacass

The Center for Growth and Oppurtunity

July 10, 2019

Occupational licensing laws create minimum standards that individuals must meet to work in a number of fields. These minimum standards usually include competency tests, hours of practice, application fees, and…
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State Medical Boards Awareness Study

The Harris Poll

May 28, 2019

Our aim in conducting the State Medical Boards Awareness Study was to measure national awareness of state medical boards, as well as gain insights on Americans’ experiences with, and responses…
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Occupational Licensing Reform Across the United States

Marc Kilmer

Arkansas Center for Research in Economics

October 2018

Political leadership from the governor was one of the strongest factors influencing whether or not licensing was reformed. Governors accomplished this in a myriad of ways. Both Michigan Governor Rick…
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Nurse practitioners: A solution to America’s primary care crisis

Peter Buerhaus

American Enterprise Institute

September 18, 2018

For the past few decades, the United States has not produced enough primary care physicians. Moreover, too few physicians practice in rural and medically underserved areas, and the number of…
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Professional Certifications and Occupational Licenses: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

Bureau Of Labor Statistics

Monthly Labor Review

June 2019

This article uses data from the Current Population Survey to analyze the role of professional certifications and occupational licenses in the U.S. labor market. It discusses the prevalence of these…
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Life, Liberty, and Trade Secrets: Intellectual Property in the Criminal Justice System

Rebecca Wexler

Stanford Law Review

February 2017

The criminal justice system is becoming automated. At every stage, from policing to evidence to parole, machine learning and other computer systems guide outcomes. Widespread debates over the pros and…
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The Impact of Occupational Licensing Requirements in D.C.

Yesim Sayin Taylor

D.C. Policy Center

November 12, 2019

The District of Columbia has many factors in its favor making it attractive to workers: high average wages, a variety of employer benefits, strong worker protections, and relatively short commute…
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Knocking on Parents’ Doors: Regulation and Intergenerational Mobility

Sauro Mocetti, Giacomo Roma, and Enrico Rubolino

Bank of Italy

July 2018

The paper looks at whether the propensity of young people to follow the same career path as one of their parents is driven by privileges of position arising from regulation…
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Examination of Cosmetology Licensing Issues

Kaila M. Simpson, Cheryl Hendrickson, Dwayne Norris, Randy J. Vander Molen, David Vestal, Kathryn Kavanagh, Samantha Lilly, Gauri Rege, and Deeza-Mae Smith

American Institutes for Research

August 30, 2016

As a type of occupational regulation, licensure is intended to protect the public by ensuring that practitioners possess the required knowledge and skills to safely perform their craft. Unlike certifications,…
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On Professional Power and Conflict of Interest: State Licensing Boards on Trial

Harris S. Cohen

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Summer 1980

Licensing of the health professions is an issue of public policy which has been under fire for years. Economists argue that licensing stifles competition and increases health care costs. Manpower…
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Beyond Medical Licensure

Shirley V. Svorny

Regulation, Spring 2015, pp. 26-29

Spring 2015

Instead of vetting physicians, the licensing apparatus provides an avenue for professional influence that has been used to restrict entry, limit competition, and preclude innovation in the provision of health…
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Enhancing Quality or Restricting Competition: The Case of Licensing Public School Teachers

Morris M. Kleiner

University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy

Spring 2011

The percentage of the workforce affected by occupational licensing has grown nationally and in public education. In assessing educational attainment and quality, there is little evidence that licensing has improved…
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Control by Licensing Over Entry Into the Market

Irwin W. Silverman, LT Bennett Jr., and Irvin Lechliter

Law and Contemporary Problems

Spring 1941

No attempt has been made herein to explore exhaustively the countless number of restrictions which operate to harass the life of the small business man, regardless of his calling. But…
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A Radical Solution to the Overuse of Occupational Licensing

Tyler Cowen

Bloomberg Opinion

March 5, 2018

Unfortunately, I don’t expect the federal bureaucracy to usher in the reign of Milton Friedman’s Chicago School economics. But the federal regulatory process would likely pay less heed to local…
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Foxes at the Henhouse: Occupational Licensing Boards Up Close

Rebecca Haw Allensworth

California Law Review

January 24, 2018

The dark side of occupational licensing—its tendency to raise prices to consumers with dubious effects on service quality, its enormous payout to licensees, and its ability to shut many willing…
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State Licensing Boards, Antitrust, and Innovation

James C. Cooper, Elyse Dorsey, and Joshua D. Wright

Regulatory Transparency Project

November 13, 2017

[T]he purported benefits of occupational licensing requirements — particularly those imposed by active market participants — often fail to come to fruition in practice. This is not entirely surprising, given…
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Occupational Licensing Run Wild

Dana Berliner, Daniel Greenberg, Paul J. Larkin, Jr, Clark Neily, Ryan Nunn, Jonathan Riches, and Luke A. Wake

Regulatory Transparency Project

November 7, 2017

The authors note that while they may have missed some examples, especially since there is no single authoritative source on de-licensing, it is clear that de-licensing is uncommon, hard to…
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Sexual Violation of Patients by Physicians: A Mixed-Methods, Exploratory Analysis of 101 Cases

James M. DuBois, Heidi A. Walsh, John T. Chibnall, Emily E. Anderson, Michelle R. Eggers, Mobolaji Fowose, and Hannah Ziobrowski

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

June 19, 2017

As noted in our introduction, it was often difficult or impossible to obtain data on cases of sexual abuse in medicine. States should make board documents open access. Several states…
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How to analyze nurse practitioner licensure laws

JK Hall

The Journal for Nurse Practitioners

August 1993

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are capable of analyzing the regulation of their practice by state authorities. The annotated nursing statute, the medicine and pharmacy statutes, regulations from those three boards and…
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Be Careful What You Wish For: Issues in the Statutory Regulation of Counsellors

Mitchell M. Handelsman and Max R. Uhlemann

Canadian Journal of Counselling


The purpose of this article is to examine important elements of the decision of whether and how counselling should be regulated by statute. First, the current status of certification, registration,…
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Licensing, Market Entry Regulation

Shriley Svorny

Encyclopedia of Law and Economics


Licensing describes the set of regulations that limit service provision to individuals or entities who meet state-established criteria. Despite claims that licensure increases service quality, the effect of licensure on…
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Anthony Ogus

Encyclopedia of Law and Economics


Self-regulation encompasses a wide range of arrangements, from private ordering without resort to legal rules to state-enforced systems of delegated rules. Transaction cost analysis has been used to explain how…
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The Purpose of Licensing

Thomas G. Moore

The Journal of Law and Economics

October 1961

Only the correlation between the median year of licensing and the percentage of an occupation belonging to its association supports the profit hypothesis. This could, of course, be the result…
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Occupational Licensing: An Argument for Asserting State Control

William C. Keck

Notre Dame Law Review

January 1969

Although the topic of state licensing has received voluminous exposure, city occupational licensing remains a part of the law that has been hurriedly bypassed. A closer look at this level…
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Occupational Licensing and the Public Interest

Alex Maurizi

Journal of Political Economy

April 1974

Occupational licensing has been justifiable in the view of legislatures on the grounds that it protects the public interest; often, however, it is the producers of the good or service…
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Occupational Licensing: A Warning

Patrick K. Mackin

Journal of Counseling and Development

June 1976

In a recent case (Gibson u. Berryhill 1973) the [Supreme] Court had the opportunity to review occupational licensing. In this case a group of licensed optometrists sought to prevent charges…
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An Economic Analysis of Occupational Licensure

Elton Rayack

Education Resources Information Center

July 23, 1976

To examine the hypothesis that occupational licensure is primarily a restrictive device to protect those licensed from competition, analysis focused on the licensure of non-professional occupations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts,…
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Licensing Restrictions and the Cost of Dental Care

Lawrence Shepard

The Journal of Law and Economics

April 1978

Empowered by the state legislatures and aligned with the profession they oversee, dental licensing boards inhibit competition through restrictive licensing practices. In the manner of a cartel, most boards have…
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Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards

Hayne E. Leland

Journal of Political Economy

December 1979

I consider markets with asymmetric information. As suggested by Akerlof, quality deterioration in such markets may take place. I show that this is a general phenomenon. Minimum quality constraints (or…
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Occupational Licensure and Regulation

Simon Rottenberg

American Enterprise Institute

January 1980

Occupational licensure can be approached within a framework of basic economics. The people of every country produce and consume diverse commodities and services. This mixed bag—the economy’s output—is produced by…
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Physician licensure legislation and the quality of medical care

Chris Paul

Atlantic Economic Journal

December 1984

To summarize, the empirical tests used in this study have found no support for the contention that physicians were initially regulated at the behest of the general population. Rather, empirical…
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Physician Licensure Legislation and the Quality of Medical Care

Chris Paul

Atlantic Economic Journal

December 1984

To summarize, the empirical tests used in this study have found no support for the contention that physicians were initially regulated at the behest of the general population. Rather, empirical…
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The Economic Theory of Regulation: Evidence from the Uniform CPA Examination

S. David Young

The Accounting Review

April 1988

The economic theory of regulation suggests that occupational licensing laws are enacted and administered to advance the interests of licensed practitioners. For example, grading standards on licensing examinations could be…
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The Economics of Occupational Licensing

Simon Rottenberg



It should be noted parenthetically that, while licensing causes the mean quality of legal practitioners to rise, by excluding those at the lower part of the qualitative range who could…
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Reforming Health Care Workforce Regulation: Policy Considerations for the 21st Century

Leonard Finocchio, Catherine Dower, Theresa McMahon, Christine Gragnola

The PEW Charitable Trusts

December 1995

Current statutes grant broad, near-exclusive scopes of practice to a few professions and “carved-out” scopes for the remaining professions. These laws erect unreasonable barriers to high-quality and affordable care.The need…
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Changing nature of physician licensure. Implications for medical education in California

C M Dower, C M Gragnola, and L J Finocchio

The Western Journal of Medicine

May 1998

Recent upheavals within health care delivery, technological advances, and changing attitudes among consumers have challenged and changed health professions licensure. At the same time, traditional regulatory frameworks remain in place….
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The Case Against Licensing Health Professionals

Stanley J. Gross

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

July 1998

Licensing confers a special authority, both literally and figuratively, which increases the likelihood of dependency on licensed personnel. The inequality of information available to the public, compared to the professional,…
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Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation

Marc T. Law, Sukkoo Kim

Journal of Economic History

May 2004

This paper explores the origins and effects of occupational licensing regulation in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. Was licensing regulation introduced to limit competition in the market for…
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Unprofessional Conduct Among Top Problems Nationally

Bill Steiger

Physician Executive

March 2005

Both the Federation [of State Medical Boards] and the American Medical Association offer guidelines on how to deal with ethical behavior issues, but no one entity oversees or mandates how…
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Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives

Adam B. Summers

Reason Foundation

August 1, 2007

Numerous studies have revealed little, if any, improvement in service quality from compulsory licensing. Oftentimes, licensing laws actually reduce service quality and public safety. There are a number of reasons…
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How Does Government Regulate Occupations in the UK and US? Issues and Policy Implications

Amy Humphris, Morris M. Kleiner, and Maria Koumenta

Oxford University Press

January 2010

We show that in both countries occupational licensing has a large impact on wage determination. The wage premium associated with licensing stands at approximately 18 per cent in the US…
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Stages of Occupational Regulation: Analysis of Case Studies

Morris M. Kleiner

W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

January 2013

Business enterprises are rarely formed as unionized firms. Similarly, even though occupations develop similar tasks and common procedures for doing a job, they are not begun as licensed occupations. Occupations…
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The Political Economy of Occupational Licensing Associations

Nicola Persico

The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization

June 2014

This paper studies the internal politics of a licensing association with regard to expansion of the licensure and self-regulation. A theoretical model is presented of a professional association that has…
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Public Choice Theory and Occupational Licensing

Paul J. Larkin

Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy

December 19, 2014

Occupational licensing is now one of the most widespread and fastest growing forms of labor market regulation. Occupational licensing requirement generally are defended on the ground that they offset the…
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Regulating Work: Measuring the Scope and Burden of Occupational Licensure Among Low- and Moderate-Income Occupations in the United States

Dick M. Carpenter II, Lisa Knepper, Angela C. Erickson and John K. Ross

Institute for Justice

February 6, 2015

This study examines the scope and burden of occupational licensing laws in the United States for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations. Findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring…
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How the Internet, the Sharing Economy, and Reputational Feedback Mechanisms Solve the “Lemons Problem”

Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman, Anne Hobson, and Chris Kuiper

Mercatus Center

May 2015

This paper argues that the sharing economy—through the use of the Internet and real time reputational feedback mechanisms—is providing a solution to the lemons problem that many regulators have spent…
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The de-licensing of occupations in the United States

Robert J. Thornton and Edward J. Timmons

Bureau of Labor Statistics

May 2015

Occupational licensing directly affects nearly 30 percent of U.S. workers today and continues to grow in density and scope. In this article, we identify and analyze those rare instances when…
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