IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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




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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:27:y:2006:i:1:p:115-126. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.