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From Certification To Licensure: Evidence From Registered And Practical Nurses In The United States, 1950-1970

  • Marc T. Law
  • Mindy S. Marks

In this paper we use individual-level census data on registered and practical nurses in the United States from 1950-70 to determine the effect that the switch from certification to licensure had on wages and participation in the registered and practical nurse professions. We examine these occupations to take advantage of a quasi-experiment afforded by the fact that, by the beginning of our sample, all states already had certification in place and some states already required a license. During the subsequent decade several states switched from certification to a mandatory licensing regime while others did not. Accordingly, we infer the effect of licensure in a differences-in-differences framework that uses states that did not change their regulatory regime as a control. Interestingly, we find that the shift from certification to mandatory licensing had little to no effect on the wages or the participation rate of practical and registered nurses.

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Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 177-198

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Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:10:y:2013:i:2:p:177-198
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  1. Mario Pagliero & Edward Timmons, 2013. "Occupational Regulation in the European Legal Market," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 10(2), pages 243-265, August.
  2. Morris M. Kleiner, 2006. "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lo, December.
  3. Law, Marc T. & Kim, Sukkoo, 2005. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 723-756, September.
  4. David E. Kalist & Stephen J. Spurr, 2004. "The Effect of State Laws on the Supply of Advanced Practice Nurses," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 271-281, December.
  5. 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.
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