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Analyzing the Labor Market Outcomes of Occupational Licensing

Listed author(s):
  • Maury Gittleman
  • Mark A. Klee
  • Morris M. Kleiner

Recent assessments of occupational licensing have shown varying effects of the institution on labor market outcomes. This study revisits the relationship between occupational licensing and labor market outcomes by analyzing a new topical module to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Relative to previously available data, the topical module offers more detailed information on occupational licensing from government, with larger sample sizes and access to richer sets of person-level characteristics. We exploit this larger and more detailed data set to examine the labor market outcomes of occupational licensing and how workers obtain these licenses from government. More specifically, we analyze whether there is evidence of a licensing wage premium, and how this premium varies with aspects of the regulatory regime such as the requirements to obtain a license or certification and the level of government oversight. After controlling for observable heterogeneity, including occupational status, we find that those with a license earn higher pay, are more likely to be employed, and have a higher probability of retirement and pension plan offers.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20961.

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Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20961
Note: IO LE LS
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  1. Jeffrey E. Zabel, 1998. "An Analysis of Attrition in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Survey of Income and Program Participation with an Application to a Model of Labor Market Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 479-506.
  2. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2010. "The Prevalence and Effects of Occupational Licensing," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 676-687, December.
  3. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Analyzing the Extent and Influence of Occupational Licensing on the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 173-202.
  4. Perloff, Jeffrey M, 1980. "The Impact of Licensing Laws on Wage Changes in the Construction Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 409-428, October.
  5. Maury Gittleman & Morris M. Kleiner, 2016. "Wage Effects of Unionization and Occupational Licensing Coverage in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(1), pages 142-172, January.
  6. Carl Shapiro, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 843-862.
  7. A. Frank Adams & John D. Jackson & Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., 2002. "Occupational Licensing in a "Competitive" Labor Market: The Case of Cosmetology," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(2), pages 261-278, April.
  8. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
  9. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "Rising Occupational And Industry Mobility In The United States: 1968-97," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 41-79, February.
  10. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-979, July.
  11. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Union Wage Practices and Wage Dispersion within Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(1), pages 3-21, October.
  12. 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.
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