Effects of Occupational Licensing Laws on Minorities: Evidence from the Progressive Era
This paper investigates the effect of occupational licensing regulation on the representation of minority workers in a range of skilled and semiskilled occupations. We take advantage of a quasi experiment afforded by the introduction of state-level licensing regulation during the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries to identify the effects of licensing on female and black workers. We find that licensing laws seldom harmed minority workers. In fact, licensing often helped minorities, particularly in occupations for which information about worker quality was difficult to ascertain. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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