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Doctors without Borders: The Returns to an Occupational License for Soviet Immigrant Physicians in Israel

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  • Kugler, Adriana D.
  • Sauer, Robert M

Abstract

Re-licensing requirements for professionals that move across borders are widespread. In this Paper, we measure the returns to an occupational license using novel data on Soviet trained physicians that immigrated to Israel. An immigrant re-training assignment rule used by the Israel Ministry of Health pro- ides an exogenous source of variation in re-licensing outcomes. Instrumental variables and quantile treatment effects estimates of the returns to an occupa- ional license indicate excess wages due to occupational entry restrictions and negative selection into licensing status. We develop a model of optimal license acquisition that suggests that the wages of high-skilled immigrant physicians in the non-physician sector outweigh the lower direct costs that these immigrants face in acquiring a medical license. Licensing thus leads to lower average quality of service. The positive earnings effect of entry restrictions far outweighs the lower practitioner quality earnings effect that licensing induces.

Suggested Citation

  • Kugler, Adriana D. & Sauer, Robert M, 2003. "Doctors without Borders: The Returns to an Occupational License for Soviet Immigrant Physicians in Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 3683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3683
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Guryan, Jonathan, 2008. "Does teacher testing raise teacher quality? Evidence from state certification requirements," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 483-503, October.
    2. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2011. "The dynamic impact of immigration on natives' labor market outcomes: Evidence from Israel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1027-1045.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; information and product quality; licensing; occupational mobility; quantile regression; quantile treatment effects model; regression discontinuity design; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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