Stages of Occupational Regulation: Analysis of Case Studies

Stages of Occupational Regulation: Analysis of Case Studies

Stages of Occupational Regulation: Analysis of Case Studies

Stages of Occupational Regulation: Analysis of Case Studies


I was left wanting more…I liken it to the cliffhanger in a work of
fiction; it has made me eager for the next installment

—Alice Ramey (2010), Bureau of Labor Statistics economist, in her
review of Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting

As this epigraph attests, I am reasonably certain that at least one reader was on the edge of her seat while turning the pages of my last book, Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?, published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in 2006. Occupational licensing is not a topic that often gets mentioned with the same sense of anticipation as a Robert Ludlum spellbinder or a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but I will take modest praise wherever I can find it. Therefore, to satisfy the wishes of Alice Ramey and any other readers for a follow-up work, I have written this current book.

The goal of this book is to provide new insights into how occupational regulation influences practitioners, consumers, and the public. To accomplish this goal, I provide detailed case studies of occupations at various stages of governmental regulation. The occupations selected are those of interior designers, mortgage brokers, preschool teachers, electricians and plumbers, and dentists and hygienists. Although the groups examined were not randomly selected, they reflect large occupational groups that have important economic and labor market effects.

Each chapter presents the evolution and anatomy of each profession. It asks why the occupation sought licensing or other forms of governmental regulation. Furthermore, it seeks to explain to what extent regulation has changed over time and whether there is a convergence of state regulations to a national standard. What qualitative changes have occurred within the occupation? Have individuals that have attained an occupational license gained higher wages as a consequence? Have other nonmonetary outcomes within the occupation been influenced by regulation? Have consumers been affected by regulations through changes in prices and the quality of the service? To what extent do the duration and intensity of governmental regulations influence the members of the profession?

By analyzing these questions, I have attempted to focus on the relevance of each issue with as much economic and statistical rigor as possible. Furthermore, I have attempted to examine the equity and efficiency trade-offs as these . . .

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