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Bringing the Effects of Occupational Licensing into Focus: Optician Licensing in the United States

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  • Edward J Timmons

    (Department of Business Administration, Saint Francis University)

  • Anna Mills

    (Mercatus Center at George Mason University)

Abstract

The labor market institution of occupational licensing continues to grow in scope in the United States and abroad. In this paper, we estimate the effects of occupational licensing on opticians using data from the US Census and American Community Survey. Our results suggest that optician licensing is associated with opticians receiving as much as 16.9 percent more in annual earnings. In an examination of malpractice insurance premiums in all states and participation rates in optician certification programs in Texas, we find little evidence that optician licensing has enhanced the quality of services delivered to consumers. By and large, optician licensing appears to be reducing consumer welfare by raising the earnings of opticians without enhancing the quality of services delivered to consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J Timmons & Anna Mills, 2018. "Bringing the Effects of Occupational Licensing into Focus: Optician Licensing in the United States," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 69-83, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:44:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_eej.2016.4
    DOI: 10.1057/eej.2016.4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle Rozema, 2021. "Does the Bar Exam Protect the Public?," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(4), pages 801-848, December.
    2. Conor Norris & Edward J. Timmons, 2020. "Restoring vision to consumers and competition to the marketplace: analyzing the effects of required prescription release," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 1-19, February.
    3. Morris M. Kleiner & Evan J. Soltas, 2019. "A Welfare Analysis of Occupational Licensing in U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 26383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Morris M. Kleiner & Evan J. Soltas, 2019. "A Welfare Analysis of Occupational Licensing in U.S. States," Staff Report 590, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Simon James Greenwood & Andrea Kutinova Menclova, 2018. "Analysing the extent and effects of occupational regulation in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(1), pages 21-39, January.
    6. Dustin Chambers & Colin O’Reilly, 2022. "The economic theory of regulation and inequality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 193(1), pages 63-78, October.
    7. Brian J Meehan & Edward Timmons & Andrew Meehan & Ilya Kukaev, 2019. "The effects of growth in occupational licensing on intergenerational mobility," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(2), pages 1516-1528.

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