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The 150-Hour Rule as a Barrier to Entering Public Accountancy

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  • CHARLES G. CARPENTER
  • E. FRANK STEPHENSON

Abstract

In many states, CPA licensure now requires 150 credit hours of college course-work thereby adding an extra semester or year of schooling beyond typical undergraduate degree requirements. Thus, the "150-hour rule" should increase the cost of becoming a CPA and, consequently, reduce the supply of new CPAs. We test this hypothesis using panel data on the number of first-time candidates for the CPA exam in each state over the years 1985 to 2002. We find that the imposition of the 150-hour education requirement reduces the number of candidates sitting for the CPA exam by 60 percent and that the "grandfathering" provisions of the 150-hour rule produce a substantial transitory increase in the number of candidates sitting for the exam in the year prior to the rule's effective date. Examination of candidates' pass rates on the exam also finds behavior consistent with the hypothesis that the 150-hour rule is a barrier to entry.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles G. Carpenter & E. Frank Stephenson, 2006. "The 150-Hour Rule as a Barrier to Entering Public Accountancy," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 27(1), pages 115-126, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:27:y:2006:i:1:p:115-126
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dick M. Carpenter II & Lisa Knepper & Angela C. Erickson & John K. Ross, 2015. "Regulating Work: Measuring the Scope and Burden of Occupational Licensure Among Low- and Moderate-Income Occupations in the United States," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 3-20, February.
    2. Tani, Massimiliano, 2018. "Selective immigration policies, occupational licensing, and the quality of migrants’ education-occupation match," GLO Discussion Paper Series 206, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Joshua Hall & Shree B. Pokharel, 2016. "Barber Licensure and the Supply of Barber Shops: Evidence from US States," Working Papers 16-15, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    4. Suyoun Han & Morris M. Kleiner, 2016. "Analyzing the Influence of Occupational Licensing Duration and Grandfathering on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Tani, Massimiliano, 2018. "Selective Immigration, Occupational Licensing, and Labour Market Outcomes of Foreign-Trained Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 11370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kleiner, Morris M. & Han, Suyoun, 2017. "Analyzing the Influence of Occupational Licensing Duration and Grandfathering on Labor Market Outcomes," Staff Report 556, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. E. Frank Stephenson & Erin E. Wendt, 2009. "Occupational Licensing: Scant Treatment in Labor Texts," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(2), pages 181-194, May.
    8. Edward Timmons & Robert Thornton, 2008. "The Effects of Licensing on the Wages of Radiologic Technologists," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 333-346, December.

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