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Effects of Occupational Licensing Laws on Minorities: Evidence from the Progressive Era*

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  • Marc T. Law
  • Mindy S. Marks

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc T. Law & Mindy S. Marks, 2009. "Effects of Occupational Licensing Laws on Minorities: Evidence from the Progressive Era," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 351-366, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:2:p:351-366
    DOI: 10.1086/596714
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
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    9. Donald Dewey, 1952. "Negro Employment in Southern Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 279-279.
    10. 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(3), pages 723-756, September.
    11. Fishback, Price, 1984. "Segregation in Job Hierarchies: West Virginia Coal Mining, 1906–1932," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 755-774, September.
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    Replication

    This item has been replicated by:
  • Daniel B. Klein & Benjamin Powell & Evgeny S. Vorotnikov, 2012. "Was Occupational Licensing Good for Minorities? A Critique of Marc Law and Mindy Marks," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(3), pages 210-233, September.
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