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

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  • Mario Pagliero

Abstract

This paper provides the first empirical evidence of a positive impact of the quality and number of potential entrants on entry requirements in professional markets. The estimated effects are so large that increases in the quality of candidates are completely offset by increases in exam difficulty and therefore do not lead to any long run increase in the number of successful candidates. Variations in the number of candidates are also significantly (but not completely) offset by changes in exam difficulty. About one third of the additional candidates that otherwise would have passed the examination fail because of the increase in standards. These results are not in line with public interest theory of licensing. The classic rent seeking view of licensing can explain some (but not all) of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp19_08
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    File URL: http://www.child.carloalberto.org/images/wp/child19_2008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Piotr Bialowolski & Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, 2021. "What Does It Take to Be a Good Lawyer? The Underpinnings of Success in a Rapidly Growing Legal Market," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(11), pages 1-15, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Pagliero, Mario, 2018. "Occupational Licensing, Labor Mobility, and the Unfairness of Entry Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 13076, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2012. "Firm/Employee Matching: An Industry Study of American Lawyers," NBER Working Papers 18620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    professional licensing; legal market; bar exam; minimum standards; entry regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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