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The Impact of Potential Labor Supply on Licensing Exam Difficulty in the US Market for Lawyers

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  • Mario Pagliero

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino)

Abstract

Entry into licensed professions requires meeting competency requirements, typically assessed through licensing examinations. In the market for lawyers, there are large differences in the difficulty of the entry examination both across states and over time. The paper explores whether the number and quality of individuals attempting to enter the profession (potential supply) affects the difficulty of the entry examination. The empirical results show that a larger potential supply leads to more difficult licensing exams and lower pass rates. This implies that licensing partially shelters the legal market from supply shocks.

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File URL: http://web.econ.unito.it/prato/papers/n18.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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File URL: http://web.econ.unito.it/prato/papers/n18R.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 18.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision: May 2013
Handle: RePEc:tur:wpaper:18

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Keywords: occupational licensing; legal market; bar exam; minimum standards; entry regulation;

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  1. Shepard, Lawrence, 1978. "Licensing Restrictions and the Cost of Dental Care," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 187-201, April.
  2. Maurizi, Alex, 1974. "Occupational Licensing and the Public Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 399-413, Part I, M.
  3. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 843-62, October.
  4. Pashigian, B Peter, 1979. "Occupational Licensing and the Interstate Mobility of Professionals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-25, April.
  5. Pashigian, B Peter, 1977. "The Market for Lawyers: The Determinants of the Demand for and Supply of Lawyers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 53-85, April.
  6. Marc T. Law & Sukkoo Kim, 2004. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
  8. Schaumans, Catherine & Verboven, Frank, 2006. "Entry and Regulation - Evidence from Health Care Professions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  10. Morris M. Kleiner, 2006. "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lo.
  11. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1981. "The Self-Regulating Profession," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 217-34, April.
  12. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  14. Haas-Wilson, Deborah, 1986. "The Effect of Commercial Practice Restrictions: The Case of Optometry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 165-86, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2012. "Firm/Employee Matching: An Industry Study of American Lawyers," NBER Working Papers 18620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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