We study the labor-market impacts of occupational licensing laws on nursing, an economically important occupation. States adopted licensing of registered and practical nurses at different times, which allows us to estimate the effects of licensing on wages and participation for each nursing profession. We find that licensure raised wages by 5 to 10 percent but there is no evidence that it reduced overall participation. Additionally, we show that licensure equalizes wages within the occupation with minority wages rising faster than nonminority wages; however, licensing had a negative but not statistically significant impact on the participation of minorities in nursing.
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
September 6, 2017