IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10467.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Marc T. Law
  • Sukkoo Kim

Abstract

This paper explores the origins and effects of occupational licensing regulation in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. Was licensing regulation introduced to limit competition in the market for professional services at the expense of efficiency? Or was licensing adopted to reduce informational asymmetries about professional quality? To investigate these hypotheses, we analyze the determinants of licensing legislation and the effect of licensing on entry into eleven occupations. We also examine the impact of medical licensing laws on entry into the medical profession, physician earnings, mortality rates, and the incidence of medical malpractice. We believe that, at least for the Progressive Era, the evidence is more consistent with the asymmetric information hypothesis than the industry capture hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc T. Law & Sukkoo Kim, 2004. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10467
    Note: HE DAE LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10467.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dora Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 47-90, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Victor R. Fuchs, 1969. "Production and Productivity in the Service Industries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch69-1, February.
    3. Burstein, Philip L. & Cromwell, Jerry, 1985. "Relative incomes and rates of return for U.S. physicians," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 63-78, March.
    4. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-1346, December.
    5. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
    6. David Cutler & Ellen Meara, 2001. "Changes in the Age Distribution of Mortality Over the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 8556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Samuel H. Preston, 1996. "American Longevity: Past, Present, and Future," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 7, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    8. Haas-Wilson, Deborah, 1986. "The Effect of Commercial Practice Restrictions: The Case of Optometry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 165-186, April.
    9. Benham, Lee & Benham, Alexandra, 1975. "Regulating Through the Professions: A Perspective on Information Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 421-447, October.
    10. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1945. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, February.
    11. Leffler, Keith B, 1978. "Physician Licensure: Competition and Monopoly in American Medicine," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 165-186, April.
    12. Law, Marc T., 2003. "The Origins of State Pure Food Regulation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 1103-1130, December.
    13. Kessel, Reuben A, 1972. "Higher Education and the Nation's Health: A Review of the Carnegie Commission Report on Medical Education," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 115-127, April.
    14. Svorny, Shirley V, 1987. "Physician Licensure: A New Approach to Examining the Role of Professional Interests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 497-509, July.
    15. Maurizi, Alex, 1974. "Occupational Licensing and the Public Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 399-413, Part I, M.
    16. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Till Bärnighausen & David E. Bloom, 2009. "Changing Research Perspectives on the Global Health Workforce," NBER Working Papers 15168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pagliero, Mario, 2013. "The impact of potential labor supply on licensing exam difficulty," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 141-152.
    3. Frank H. Stephen, 2013. "Lawyers, Markets and Regulation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14803.
    4. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    5. Mario Pagliero, 2007. "The Impact of Potential Labor Supply on Licensing Exam Difficulty in the US Market for Lawyers," CHILD Working Papers wp19_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    6. Xia, Xing, 2021. "Barrier to Entry or Signal of Quality? The Effects of Occupational Licensing on Minority Dental Assistants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    7. Pagliero, Mario, 2018. "Occupational Licensing, Labor Mobility, and the Unfairness of Entry Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 13076, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Shirley Svorny, 2004. "Licensing Doctors: Do Economists Agree?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 279-305, August.
    9. Mario Pagliero & Edward Timmons, 2012. "Occupational Regulation in the European Legal Market," Working papers 27, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    10. Edward J Timmons & Anna Mills, 2018. "Bringing the Effects of Occupational Licensing into Focus: Optician Licensing in the United States," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 69-83, January.
    11. James D. Shilling & C. F. Sirmans, 1988. "The Effects of Occupational Licensing on Complaints Against Real Estate Agents," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 3(2), pages 1-9.
    12. Georg Meran & Reimund Schwarze, 2010. "Can minimum prices assure the quality of professional services?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 171-199, October.
    13. Mario Pagliero, 2019. "Occupational Licensing in the EU: Protecting Consumers or Limiting Competition?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 55(1), pages 137-153, August.
    14. Niels Philipsen, 2011. "Professional Licensing and Self-regulation in Europe and China: A Law and Economics Perspective," Chapters, in: Michael Faure & Xinzhu Zhang (ed.), Competition Policy and Regulation, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Anca Cotet, 2009. "More Evidence on the Quality-Quantity Trade-off in Medical Care," Working Papers 200902, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
    16. Weil, David N., 2014. "Health and Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 3, pages 623-682, Elsevier.
    17. Hanson, Robin, 2003. "Warning labels as cheap-talk: why regulators ban drugs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2013-2029, September.
    18. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault & Michel Grignon, 2013. "A Comparison of the Regulation of Health Professional Boundaries across OECD Countries," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 10(2), pages 199-223, August.
    19. Pagliero, Mario, 2011. "What is the objective of professional licensing? Evidence from the US market for lawyers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 473-483, July.
    20. Mario Pagliero, 2010. "Licensing Exam Difficulty and Entry Salaries in the US Market for Lawyers," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 726-739, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:nbr:nberwo:10467. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.