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The Impact of Potential Labor Supply on Licensing Exam Difficulty in the US Market for Lawyers

Author

Listed:
  • Mario Pagliero

    () (Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino)

Abstract

Entry into licensed professions requires meeting competency requirements, typically assessed through licensing examinations. In the market for lawyers, there are large differences in the difficulty of the entry examination both across states and over time. The paper explores whether the number and quality of individuals attempting to enter the profession (potential supply) affects the difficulty of the entry examination. The empirical results show that a larger potential supply leads to more difficult licensing exams and lower pass rates. This implies that licensing partially shelters the legal market from supply shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Pagliero, 2011. "The Impact of Potential Labor Supply on Licensing Exam Difficulty in the US Market for Lawyers," Working papers 18, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino, revised May 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:tur:wpaper:18
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    File URL: http://www.biblioecon.unito.it/biblioservizi/RePEc/tur/wpaper/n18.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.biblioecon.unito.it/biblioservizi/RePEc/tur/wpaper/n18R.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pashigian, B Peter, 1979. "Occupational Licensing and the Interstate Mobility of Professionals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-25, April.
    2. Catherine Schaumans & Frank Verboven, 2008. "Entry and regulation: evidence from health care professions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 949-972.
    3. 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.
    4. Avner Shared & John Sutton, 1981. "The Self-Regulating Profession," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 217-234.
    5. Pashigian, B Peter, 1977. "The Market for Lawyers: The Determinants of the Demand for and Supply of Lawyers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 53-85, April.
    6. Morris M. Kleiner, 2006. "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lo, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Carl Shapiro, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 843-862.
    9. Shepard, Lawrence, 1978. "Licensing Restrictions and the Cost of Dental Care," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 187-201, April.
    10. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 3-39, June.
    11. 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(03), pages 723-756, September.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2012. "Firm/Employee Matching: An Industry Study of American Lawyers," NBER Working Papers 18620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupational licensing; legal market; bar exam; minimum standards; entry regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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