media: EconTalk Podcast with Russ Roberts

Economists often oppose the expansion of licensing in America in recent years because it makes it harder for people with low skills to get access to opportunity. Sociologist Beth Redbird of Northwestern University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a different perspective. Redbird finds that licensing expands opportunity for women and minorities and has little impact on wages. She argues that licensing helps historically disadvantaged groups discover ways into various careers they otherwise would have trouble accessing. The discussion closes with a discussion of Redbird’s work on the economic situation of Native Americans.  <<Listen Here>>

 

note: Occupational Licenses and Military Veterans

Recently, it has come to the attention of lawmakers, researchers, and the media that transitions from military to civilian employment may be hindered by licensing laws.  Since 2008, numerous states have passed laws intended to help resolve the issue.  Here they are:

 

CO H 1162
2008
Military Spouse Interim Authorization
Status: Enacted – Act No. 41
Date of Last Action:* 03/19/2008 – Enacted
Author: Stephens (R)
Topics: K-12 Leadership, Teacher Issues-Induction and Mentoring, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Summary: Creates a military spouse interim authorization that allows a school district to employ a military spouse who is certified or licensed teacher, special services provider, principal, or administrator in another state but who has not yet completed the licensure process in this state.

 

KY H 607
2008
Alternative Teacher Certification
Status: Enacted – Act No. 177
Date of Last Action:* 04/24/2008 – Enacted
Author: Tilley (D) Additional Authors: Ballard (D);Dossett (R);Moore (R);Greer (D)
Topics: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues-Recruitment and Retention, Teacher Issues
Summary: Relates to alternative teacher certification, allows a five year statement of eligibility for teaching be issued to a veteran who has completed a total of ten years of active duty service, ten years of service officially credited toward armed services retirement, or ten years combination of service.

 

TN S 3364
2008
Teachers Principals and School Personnel
Status: Enacted – Act No. 925
Date of Last Action:* 05/15/2008 – Enacted
Author: Beavers (R)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Employment, Teacher Issues
Summary: Grants licensed teacher’s leave to visit a spouse, child, or parent deployed for military duty to present situations eligible for mandatory grant of leave from employment.

 

WA H 1156
2009
Alternative Route Certification Program
Status: Enacted – Act No. 192
Date of Last Action:* 04/23/2009 – Enacted
Author: Anderson (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Admissions and Enrollment, Postsecondary-Financial Aid and Affordability, Postsecondary-Other/Miscellaneous, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Summary: Creates a preference in the higher education alternative route certification program for veterans and national guard members, creates a preference in the alternative route certification program for veterans and national guard members.

 

VA H 809
2009
Provisional and Local Eligibility Licenses
Status: Enacted – Act No. 51
Date of Last Action:* 02/29/2008 – Enacted
Author: Ward (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Summary: Provides that if a teacher employed under a provisional license is activated or deployed for military service within a school year, an additional year will be added to the teacher’s provisional license for each school year or portion the teacher is activated, provides that local school divisions may grant similar extensions for local eligibility licenses in their discretion.

 

MN S 2737
2010
State Government
Status: Enacted – Act No. 333
Date of Last Action:* 05/13/2010 – Enacted
Author: Skogen (DFL)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Employment, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: MN H 2678 – Companion
Summary: Regards veterans’ points for teaching applicants

 

KY H 301
2011
Military Professional Licensure and Certification Fees
Status: Enacted – Act No. 101
Date of Last Action:* 03/17/2011 – Enacted
Author: Pullin (D) Additional Authors: Butler Dw (R);Yonts (D);Greer (D);Webb-Edgington (R);Steele (D)
Topics: K-12 Leadership
Summary: Specifies that any active duty military personnel will have any professional license or certificate renewed without payment of fees or obtaining continuing education as long as they are an active duty member of the Armed Forces and for six months after discharge. School Leadership: Requires that the professionally licensed or certified spouse of any active duty military personnel transferred to Kentucky will be issued a six month temporary license by the administrative body with jurisdiction over that profession in Kentucky.

 

MD S 687
2011
Adjutant General
Status: Enacted – Act No. 517
Date of Last Action:* 05/19/2011 – Enacted
Author: Peters (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: MD H 998 – Crossfiled with
Summary: Requires the State Department of Education to develop a certain form relating to teacher certification and tenure and to post the form on its Web site, requires the Adjutant General or the Adjutant General’s designee to assist military spouses in finding employment in education, health care or business occupations in the state that permit reciprocal licensure.

 

MD H 998
2011
Adjutant General
Status: Enacted – Act No. 518
Date of Last Action:* 05/19/2011 – Enacted
Author: Valentino-Smith (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Employment, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: MD S 687 – Crossfiled with
Summary: Requires the State Department of Education to develop a certain form relating to teacher certification and tenure and to post the form on its Web site, requires the Adjutant General or the Adjutant General’s designee to assist military spouses in finding employment in education, health care. or any licensed occupation with reciprocal licensure, requires teachers who have achieved tenure or an equivalent level of certification or licensure to be granted tenure in the State under specified circumstances.

 

NJ S 1026
2012
VETeach Pilot Program
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2012-2
Date of Last Action:* 04/05/2012 – Enacted
Author: Whelan (D)
Topics: Middle School, Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Other/Miscellaneous, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues-Preparation, Teacher Issues-Recruitment and Retention, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: NJ A 1294 – Identical
Summary: Establishes VETeach Pilot Program in Department of Education to facilitate the teacher certification of veterans, provides that the expense incurred by eligible students will be covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

 

IN H 1116
2012
Military Education and Training
Status: Enacted – Act No. 57
Date of Last Action:* 03/14/2012 – Enacted
Author: Borders (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Admissions and Enrollment, Postsecondary-Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: Relates to military education and occupational licensure, provides that a board shall issue a license, certificate, registration, or permit to a military service applicant to allow the applicant to practice the applicant’s occupation if the applicant has completed a military program of training, been awarded a military occupational specialty and performed adequately in that occupational specialty, requires that applicant to pay fees required by the occupational licensing board. Veterans: credit for military service

 

WA S 5969
2012
Professional Licensing of Military Spouses
Status: Enacted – Act No. 5
Date of Last Action:* 12/20/2011 – Enacted
Author: Kilmer (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: WA H 2167 b – Companion
Summary: Requires that each professional authority responsible for licensing, certifying, registering or issuing a permit to perform a professional services in the state is required to establish procedures to expedite the issuance of a license, certificate, or permit to a person who is certified or licensed in another state to perform professional services in the state, whose spouse is the subject of a military transfer to the state, and who left employment in the other state to accompany their spouse to the state.

 

WI S 357
2012
Military Education
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2012-120
Date of Last Action:* 03/05/2012 – Enacted
Author: Moulton (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: Relates to applying a service members military education, training, or other experience to satisfy requirements for a professional credential or occupational license, provides that a credential applicant’s education, training, or other experience obtained in connection with the applicant’s service in the armed forces satisfies that credential’s education, training, or other experience requirements, relates to public librarians, child care centers, group homes, shelters and nursing homes.

 

AK H 84
2013
Military Training Credit and Licenses
Status: Enacted – Act No. 28
Date of Last Action:* 06/02/2013 – Enacted
Author: Saddler (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Adult Education
Summary: Relates to applying military education, training, and service credit to occupational licensing and certain postsecondary education and employment training requirements, provides for a temporary occupational license for qualified military service members.

 

MD H 225
2013
Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013
Status: Enacted – Act No. 155
Date of Last Action:* 04/17/2013 – Enacted
Author: Busch (D) Additional Authors: Barve (D);Dumais (D);Feldman (D);Jameson (D);Braveboy (D);Hucker (D);Kipke (R);Kramer B (D);Olszewski (D);Glass (R);Lee (D);Love (D);Rosenberg (D);Barkley (D);Branch (D);Minnick (D);Hubbard (D);Morhaim (D);Frush (D);Malone (D);McHale (D);Rudolph (D);Mitchell (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Associated Bills: MD S 273 – Crossfiled with
Summary: Requires certain licensing units and boards to give credit to former service members for relevant military training, education, and experience in connection with the issuance of occupational and professional licenses, certificates, and registrations, repeals and re-codifies provisions of law regarding the renewal of certain occupational or professional licenses and the completion of continuing education or continuing competency requirements for specified members of an armed force deployed outside the State.

 

MS S 2419
2013
Occupational Licensing for Military Applicants
Status: Enacted – Act No. 350
Date of Last Action:* 03/18/2013 – Enacted
Author: Montgomery (D)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Induction and Mentoring, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Summary: Provides that Occupational Licensing Boards shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military-trained applicant to allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant’s occupation in Mississippi if the applicant satisfies certain conditions, provides that Occupational Licensing Boards shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military spouse to allow the military spouse to lawfully practice the military spouse’s occupation in Mississippi.

 

NJ S 1026
2013
VETeach Pilot Program
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2012-2
Date of Last Action:* 04/05/2012 – Enacted
Author: Whelan (D)
Topics: Middle School, Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Other/Miscellaneous, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues-Preparation, Teacher Issues-Recruitment and Retention, Teacher Issues
Summary: Establishes VETeach Pilot Program in Department of Education to facilitate the teacher certification of veterans, provides that the expense incurred by eligible students will be covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

 

NJ A 2892
2013
Temporary Instructional Permit
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2013-68
Date of Last Action:* 06/13/2013 – Enacted
Author: Diegnan (D) Additional Authors: Chivukula (D);DeAngelo (D);Caputo (D);Beach (D);Riley (D);Coughlin (D);Brown Ch (R);Eustace (D);Mosquera (D);Simon (R);Amodeo (R);Whelan (D);Turner (D);Conaway (D);Johnson (D);Allen (R);Greenstein (D);McHose (R);Gordon (D);Moriarty (D);Lampitt (D);Space (R)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Employment, Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification
Associated Bills: NJ S 1927 – Identical
Summary: Allows certain military spouses with out-of-State teaching license to receive temporary instructional certificate in the state, requires the State Board of Education to establish a procedure for the issuance of a temporary instructional certificate to a nonresident military spouse that authorizes a board of education to employ that individual as a teacher if the nonresident military spouse holds a valid and current license or certificate to teach issued by another state.

 

SD S 117
2013
Active Duty Military Personnel Spouses
Status: Enacted – Act No. 170
Date of Last Action:* 03/06/2013 – Enacted
Author: State Affairs Cmt
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues
Summary: Provides for an expedited endorsement of certain licenses, certificates, registrations, and permits for spouses of active duty military personnel by the State Board of Education.

 

AK H 84
2014
Military Training Credit and Licenses
Status: Enacted – Act No. 28
Date of Last Action:* 06/02/2013 – Enacted
Author: Saddler (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Adult Education
Summary: Relates to applying military education, training, and service credit to occupational licensing and certain postsecondary education and employment training requirements, provides for a temporary occupational license for qualified military service members.

 

FL H 433
2014
Educator Certification
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2014-32
Date of Last Action:* 05/12/2014 – Enacted
Author: Spano (R) Additional Authors: Spano (R)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues-Preparation
Associated Bills: FL S 950 – Similar
Summary: Relates to educator certification and requirements for instructional personnel who supervise preservice field experience, authorizes a school district to assign newly hired instructional personnel to a failing school, revises competency-based professional development certification and education competency requirements, provides for military experience, authorizes a consortium of charter schools to develop a professional development system, provides for use of student achievement data and graduate records.

 

FL H 7015
2014
Military and Veteran Support
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2014-1
Date of Last Action:* 03/31/2014 – Enacted
Author: Veteran & Military Affairs Subcommittee Additional Authors: Murphy (D);Danish (D);Cummings (R);Steube (R);Smith J (R);Rooney (R);Porter (R);Nunez (R);Metz (R);Hager (R);Diaz J (R);Corcoran (R);Dudley (D);Edwards (D);Zimmerman (D);Spano (R);Santiago (R);Rodriguez J (D);Raulerson (R);Raschein (R);Rangel (D);Pigman (R);Peters (R);McGhee (D);Fitzenhagen (R);Campbell (D);Caldwell (R);Broxson (R);Ray (R);Rader (D);Mayfield D (R);Eisnaugle (R);Adkins (R);McBurney (R);Schwartz (D);Nelson (R);Hooper (R);Coley M (R);Harrell (R);Rehwinkel Vasil (D);Renuart (R);Brodeur (R);Berman (D);Artiles (R);Albritton (R);Ahern (R);Gaetz M (R);Cruz (D);Williams A (D);Van Zant (R);Rogers (D);Roberson K (R);Baxley (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Associated Bills: FL H 35 – Compare;FL H 205 – Compare;FL H 851 – Compare;FL H 873 – Compare;FL S 84 – Compare;FL S 140 – Compare;FL S 418 – Compare;FL S 428 – Compare;FL S 860 – Similar;FL S 970 – Compare
Summary: Relates to military and veteran support, revises and creates provisions to benefit veterans and servicemembers with regard to the Educational Dollars for Duty Program, the Veterans’ Walk of Honor, the Veterans’ Memorial Garden and governmental employment preference, relates to drivers license extension for military member’s spouse and dependents, waivers professional regulation fees for spouses of veterans, directs veterans from higher education-related fees.

OH H 488
2014
Education Credit for Military Training
Status: Enacted – Act No. 117
Date of Last Action:* 06/16/2014 – Enacted
Author: Dovilla (R) Additional Authors: Sheehy (D);Terhar (R);Hagan C (R);Sprague (R);Buchy (R);Butler (R);Stinziano (D);Rosenberger (R);Ramos (D);Patmon (D);O’Brien (D);Milkovich (D);Johnson (R);Henne (R);Hayes (R);Duffey (R);Clyde (D);Pelanda (R);DeVitis (R);Cera (D);Romanchuk (R);Rogers (D);Retherford (R);Perales (R);Patterson (D);Green (R);Curtin (D);Burkley (R);Brown T (R);Bishoff (D);Barborak (D);Smith (R);Lynch (R);Scherer (R);Boyce (D);Celebrezze (D);Ashford (D);Antonio (D);Stebelton (R);Lundy (D);Letson (D);Huffman (R);Foley (D);Budish (D);Batchelder (R);McGregor R (R);Amstutz (R);Fedor (D);Strahorn (D);Hagan R (D);Wachtmann (R);Blessing (R);Damschroder (R);Redfern (D);Gerberry (D);Sears (R);Adams R (R);Anielski (R);Beck (R);Winburn (D);Stautberg (R);Ruhl (R);Pillich (D);McClain (R);Maag (R);Hall (R);Hackett (R);Grossman (R);Derickson (R);Carney (D);Boose (R);Blair (R);Baker (R);Schuring (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Summary: Requires state institutions of higher education to award credit for military training, increases penalties for theft and identity fraud offenses where the victim is an active duty service member, allows a civil action for victims of identity fraud, requires each licensing agency to prioritize and expedite certification or licensing for applicants that are a member, veteran, spouse, or surviving spouse of a member or veteran, relates to preference in any federally funded employment and training program.

 

MA S 2052
2014
Veteran Matters
Status: Enacted – Act No. 62-2014
Date of Last Action:* 04/03/2014 – Enacted
Author: Report of Conference Committee
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Associated Bills: MA S 1885 – New Draft of
Summary: Relates to veteran’s allowances, labor, outreach, and recognition, makes appropriations, relates to students enlisted in active duty, property exempt from taxation, charitable organizations, casualty classifications, Gold Star Family plates, registration of certain professions and occupations, training and certification of veterans’ benefits and services officers, employer hiring and promotion preference, picketing laws, veterans home modification, veterans’ businesses and other matters.

 

OH H 488
2014
Education Credit for Military Training
Status: Enacted – Act No. 117
Date of Last Action:* 06/16/2014 – Enacted
Author: Dovilla (R) Additional Authors: Sheehy (D);Terhar (R);Hagan C (R);Sprague (R);Buchy (R);Butler (R);Stinziano (D);Rosenberger (R);Ramos (D);Patmon (D);O’Brien (D);Milkovich (D);Johnson (R);Henne (R);Hayes (R);Duffey (R);Clyde (D);Pelanda (R);DeVitis (R);Cera (D);Romanchuk (R);Rogers (D);Retherford (R);Perales (R);Patterson (D);Green (R);Curtin (D);Burkley (R);Brown T (R);Bishoff (D);Barborak (D);Smith (R);Lynch (R);Scherer (R);Boyce (D);Celebrezze (D);Ashford (D);Antonio (D);Stebelton (R);Lundy (D);Letson (D);Huffman (R);Foley (D);Budish (D);Batchelder (R);McGregor R (R);Amstutz (R);Fedor (D);Strahorn (D);Hagan R (D);Wachtmann (R);Blessing (R);Damschroder (R);Redfern (D);Gerberry (D);Sears (R);Adams R (R);Anielski (R);Beck (R);Winburn (D);Stautberg (R);Ruhl (R);Pillich (D);McClain (R);Maag (R);Hall (R);Hackett (R);Grossman (R);Derickson (R);Carney (D);Boose (R);Blair (R);Baker (R);Schuring (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Summary: Requires state institutions of higher education to award credit for military training, increases penalties for theft and identity fraud offenses where the victim is an active duty service member, allows a civil action for victims of identity fraud, requires each licensing agency to prioritize and expedite certification or licensing for applicants that are a member, veteran, spouse, or surviving spouse of a member or veteran, relates to preference in any federally funded employment and training program.

 

FL H 433
2014
Educator Certification
Status: Enacted – Act No. 2014-32
Date of Last Action:* 05/12/2014 – Enacted
Author: Spano (R) Additional Authors: Spano (R)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification, Teacher Issues-Preparation
Associated Bills: FL S 950 – Similar
Summary: Relates to educator certification and requirements for instructional personnel who supervise preservice field experience, authorizes a school district to assign newly hired instructional personnel to a failing school, revises competency-based professional development certification and education competency requirements, provides for military experience, authorizes a consortium of charter schools to develop a professional development system, provides for use of student achievement data and graduate records.

 

ME H 802
2014
Veteran Access to Employment and Education
Status: Enacted – Act No. 311
Date of Last Action:* 06/21/2013 – Enacted
Author: Graham (D)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Admissions and Enrollment, Postsecondary-Tuition and Fees
Summary: Requires each board, commission and agency of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation to adopt a process to facilitate qualified returning military veterans and qualified spouses to qualify for professional licenses, provides that nonresident students receiving federal assistance with education cost are eligible for in-state tuition, provides for training, provides for acceptance of military credentials, provides for licenses from another state.

 

NY S 6887
2014
Educational Opportunities for Military Children
Status: Enacted – Act No. 328
Date of Last Action:* 08/18/2014 – Enacted
Author: Ranzenhofer (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Summary: Enacts the interstate compact on educational opportunities for military children,, provides for spouses licensed in another state, relates to in-state tuition at colleges and universities of the state and city university of New York, state supplemental burial allowance for members killed in combat or duty subject to imminent danger, relates to real estate broker, barber, and cosmetology licenses for a member of the household of a member of the armed forces before relocating to the state.

 

UT H 36
2015
Veterans Definition
Status: Enacted – Act No. 141
Date of Last Action:* 03/25/2015 – Enacted
Author: Ray (R)
Topics: Summer Programs
Summary: Relates to veterans, relates to resident student status, waiver of education, licensing or certification requirements and maintenance of the Utah Veterans’ Cemetery and Memorial Park, amends a definition of dependents to include a dependent spouse and children, requires documentation showing military education and training in the field in which certification or licensure is sought, includes a disabled veteran.

 

VA H 1641
2015
Values Veterans Program
Status: Enacted – Act No. 318
Date of Last Action:* 03/17/2015 – Enacted
Author: Stolle (R)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Summary: Relates to the Virginia Values Veterans Program to help reduce unemployment among veterans, requires all Executive Branch agencies and all public institutions of higher education to be certified as employers participating with an objective of setting measurable goals for hiring and retaining veterans, authorizes such agencies or institutions to request a certification waiver if the agencies and institutions can demonstrate the certification is in conflict with policy and each has an alternative program.

 

CO H 1197
2016
Military Veteran Occupational Credentials
Status: Enacted – Act No. 190
Date of Last Action:* 05/20/2016 – Enacted
Author: Carver (R) Additional Authors: Wist (R);Rosenthal (D);Nordberg (R);Melton (D);Lebsock (D);Lawrence (R);Landgraf (R);Kraft-Tharp (D);Ginal (D);Buckner (D);Saine (R);Salazar (D);Crowder (R);Winter (D);Windholz (R);Roupe (R);Lundeen (R);Lontine (D);Klingenschmitt (R);Esgar (D);Danielson (D);Arndt (D);Young (D);Hamner (D);Williams A (D);Ryden (D);Priola (R);McCann (D);Hullinghorst (D);Court (D);Roberts (R);Primavera (D);Kerr A (D);Kefalas (D);Heath (D);Newell (D);Kagan (D);Pabon (D);Lee (D);Joshi (R);Jones (D);Fields (D);Duran (D);Conti (R);Brown (R);Becker (R);Todd (D)
Topics: Postsecondary, Postsecondary-Veterans (since 2014)
Summary: Requires each state agency that regulates a profession or occupation to evaluate and provide credit toward licensing and certification for military experience, requires each agency to evaluate the extent to which military training meets state requirements, identify certain reciprocity mechanisms, document certain results and publish a summary of certain pathways, and consult with community colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions with regard to certain programs.

PA H 2078
2016
Certification of Teachers
Status: Enacted – Chapter
Date of Last Action:* 11/03/2016 – Enacted
Author: Hill (R)
Topics: Teacher Issues-Licensure and Certification
Summary: Amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, in certification of teachers, provides for issuance of permanent college certificates by the Secretary of Education, for a program of continuing professional education and for a professional educator discipline fee, provides for processing applications from qualified veterans, members of the armed forces or a spouse, including the reserve National Guard, within a specified time.

Data comes from the National Congress of State Legislature http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/education-bill-tracking-database.aspx

misc: Shortest Research Paper in History

All academics should strive for brevity as well as comprehensibility.  The shortest academic paper in history was written by Dennis Upper in 1974. Upper, like many academics, suffered from writers block. Upper decided to apply the scientific method to the issue of writer’s block to see if he could treat it in himself. Unfortunately, that meant combating writer’s block by, well, writing about it. His paper “The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of ‘writer’s block'” is completely blank, save for the title, journal, references, and comments by a reviewer. The study was published without revision in distinguished Journal of Applied Behavioural Analysis in 1974. It is officially the shortest scientific paper ever published.

The reviewer’s comments were well received: . “I have studied this manuscript very carefully with lemon juice and X-rays and have not detected a single flaw in either design or writing style,” wrote the anonymous reviewer. “I suggest it be published without revision. Clearly it is the most concise manuscript I have ever seen — yet it contains sufficient detail to allow other investigators to replicate Dr. Upper’s failure. In comparison with the other manuscripts I get from you containing all that complicated detail, this one was a pleasure to examine. Surely we can find a place for this paper in the Journal — perhaps on the edge of a blank page.”

Read about more blissfully short papers here: https://curiosity.com/topics/the-shortest-scientific-paper-ever-published-literally-contained-no-words-curiosity/

news: Pursuing new viewpoints in the study of inequality

IPR Faculty Spotlight: <<Read It>>

How do political elites speak to people about political and economic policy? There is often a vast economic divide between those elites and their voters, yet Redbird argues that a “conversation” takes place between them nonetheless.

Her newest research project thoroughly examines this conversation, in partnership with IPR associate Annette D’Onofrio, a sociolinguist. Thanks to an IPR seed grant, they will analyze all presidential candidates’ speeches from 2008 onward.

Redbird will look at the speeches’ argumentation and rhetoric. As an example, she notes that, although the number of coal industry employees is very small—about 60,000 workers nationwide—politicians mention the industry frequently when discussing economic policy. Another example is the choice of “we” when discussing tax cuts, but “they” when referring to those on welfare. D’Onofrio will undertake a phonic analysis, examining how candidates form words and the dialects they use.

The two researchers will then pair their analyses with responses to the speeches, such as tweets and public opinion polls, to understand the “conversation” between political elites and their audiences.

Redbird singled out IPR’s intellectual diversity for bringing her new viewpoints that push her work in challenging directions.

“Inequality is a multidimensional, multifaceted, and complex problem,” Redbird said. “These people think of things I would never have thought of!”

news: The Positive Side of Licensing Barbers

Imposing requirements on certain kinds of work could actually be a better deal for consumers.

by Justin Fox

Bloomberg View <<<Read It >>>

Occupational licensing, Milton Friedman declared in his 1962 classic “Capitalism and Freedom,” is an affront to freedom and a check on economic dynamism — a modern, Western equivalent of medieval guilds and Indian castes. “Licensure,” he wrote, “almost inevitably becomes a tool in the hands of a special producer group to obtain a monopoly position at the expense of the rest of the public.”

At that time, about 5 percent of employed Americans needed government-issued licenses to do their jobs. 1 When the government survey takers asked workers in 2016 if they held a currently active occupational license or certificate, 25 percent said they did. The most licensed occupational category was the one that had been the main target of Friedman’s wrath in 1961 — health-care practitioners. But lots of workers in lots of other fields now have licenses, too:

The Most Licensed Jobs

Share of workers with a license or certificate, by occupational category

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With its rise and spread, occupational licensing — which usually comes about after people in a particular occupation lobby state lawmakers for it — has drawn growing criticism across the political spectrum. In 2013, Indiana’s then-Governor Mike Pence vetoed bills creating new occupational licenses for diabetes educators, anesthesiologist assistants and dietitians, saying “less regulation will mean more jobs for Hoosiers.” A group of Barack Obama administration officials sounded a similar note in a 2015 report, arguing that “by making it harder to enter a profession, licensing can … reduce employment opportunities and lower wages for excluded workers, and increase costs for consumers.” And last fall, Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers named occupational licensing as a major factor restricting worker mobility and giving employers the upper hand in job markets.

The economic logic behind these arguments is pretty clear. “Just by its very nature licensing must keep people out,” summed up Beth Redbird, a sociology professor at Northwestern University, “and by the law of supply and demand that raises prices.”

There is other logic in this world besides economic logic, though. In an article published in May in the American Sociological Review, 2 Redbird described what happened to employment and wages in occupations after states imposed licensing requirements on them: Employment increased, especially of women and minorities, and wages didn’t budge. Far from keeping people out of occupations, licensure requirements seemed to draw them in.

Why is that? Redbird figures it’s because licensure replaces the informal, often hard-to-penetrate networks that previously steered people into work as hairstylists or bakers and replaces them with a straightforward set of training and certification requirements. “Suddenly the occupation is actually easier to get into than before,” she said. “It’s not necessarily cheaper, but easier.”

Redbird made this discovery while working on a doctorate at Stanford University, which she received last year on the strength of a dissertation that was the basis of the May article. She had been trying to replicate past research on the wage impacts of licensure, and she struggled to get the same results. A major difficulty in determining the effect of licensure is what to use as comparisons. Yes, lawyers and doctors make more money than most people, but is it really because of licensing? One way to get around this is to compare workers whose occupations are licensed in one state but not another. Another is to see what happens after a new licensing requirement is adopted. So Redbird spent nine months compiling a data set of when individual states adopted specific licensing requirements and compared it to occupational employment data from the government’s Current Population Survey from 1983 through 2012.

No research method is perfect, and when I talked to University of Minnesota economist Morris Kleiner, the dean of occupational licensing researchers, he cited several issues with Redbird’s, notably that 1) it can’t differentiate between onerous licensing requirements and relatively simple ones and 2) it looks at wages and employment for everybody in an occupation, not just those with licenses. “I’m glad she’s doing work in this area,” said Kleiner, whose work heavily influenced the Obama administration’s thinking on licensing, but it hasn’t changed his view that licensing has gotten out of hand. Redbird is cautious about the implications, too. “I don’t want to portray licensing as this policy solution to lots of problems,” she said. “It just doesn’t have the effect that we thought it did.”

Up to now, the main arguments for occupational licensing were that it improves quality and protects health and safety — although there are those who argue that it doesn’t do either very well. Now there’s also the possibility that it can pave the way for more people of more diverse backgrounds to get into a field, thereby giving customers more choice and a better deal. Of course, if word gets out about that, we may see fewer people lobbying state legislators to require licenses for their occupations.

About the Data

The Northwestern Licensing Database

Licensing data is derived from an extensive coding of occupational legislation and regulations, enacted federally and across all 50 states from 1970 to 2017, and across all occupations classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC). During this time period, thousands of licensing laws were passed. Data on licensing was collected for laws enacted 1970-2012 via a census of licensing statutes conducted throughout in 2012-2013. The data has been updated via notification of bill enactments for the years 2013-2017. (Caution: the methodological difference in collection methods may complicate comparisons between these time periods.)

Unfortunately, the administrative burden of making this database available has become too costly.  We are no longer accepting application for the NLD.  If that changes, information about how to apply will be posted on this site.  Please do not email asking for the data.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled data on the licensing requirements for 30 commonly-licensed occupations, which can be found here.

 

Projects Using NLD

Robert J. McGrath, William W. Franko, Steven Beasley, and Wendy Chen
George Mason University
Impact of state-level occupational licensure on features of state income distributions.

Nicholas Carollo and Moshe Buchinsky
UCLA
Effect of occupational licensing on labor market adjustment and employment shocks.

Meghana Ayyapari and Vojislav Maksimovic
George Washington University
Occupational licensing as a barrier to entrepreneurship.

Martha Johnson and Maria Fitzpatrick
Cornell University
Impact of occupational licensing on the demand for vocational college training.

Joanna Carroll and Bradley Heim
Indiana University
Impact of licensing on low-skilled and low-wage occupations on the effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Eliza Forsythe and Anahid Bauer
University of Illinois
Impact of licensing on employer training costs, wages, employment, occupational task allocation and related spill-over effects.

Samuel Dodini and Mike Lovenheim
Cornell University
Evolution of skills covered by licenses over time and impact of licensing on returns to skill.

Florian Hoffmann, Joshua D. Gottlieb, and Catherine E. van der List
University of British Columbia
The effects of occupational licensing on state-level market prices for services.

Julia Pollak and Jennifer Lewis
Pepperdine University
The effect of licensing on labor market participation.

Jacob Fabina 
Boston University
The adaptability of for-profit colleges to demand for college programs.

Michael Lipsitz and Austin Smith 
Miami University
Wage and employment spill-over effects into unlicensed related occupations.

 

news: IPR Welcomes Eight New Fellows

This September, IPR will welcome eight new fellows, one of its biggest incoming faculty cohorts ever. With research interests ranging from the economics and politics of developing countries to identity development and social inequality, these eight experts represent five disciplines, with six housed in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and two in the University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Four were previously IPR faculty associates.

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course: Social Inequality

This course examines inequality in American society with an emphasis on race, class, and gender.  Lectures emphasize the mechanisms through which inequality develops and comes to be seen as legitimate, natural, and desirable.  We will also examine the economic, social, and political consequences of rising inequality.  We will place special focus on poverty and inequality in Native North America.

Syllabus

course: Class and Culture

Course covers economic, social, and political causes and consequence of class in America.  Topics include: class culture, education, recent social protests, including Occupy and Tea Party, and the 2016 presidential election.  Emphasizes ways that social class shapes the background and experiences of current Northwestern students and what their future will hold.

Syllabus 2016

Syllabus 2017

  Quotes From Students

“This course was a lesson in critical thinking and opening your eyes.”

“This course should be a requirement for attending Northwestern, or being a human in America.”

“BEST CLASS I’VE TAKEN SO FAR AT NU!”

“Beth is my favorite woman ever and her dog is even more incredible.”

“You walk out actually knowing things about the world.”

“FAVE PROF OF ALL TIME.”

“It really changed my perception of the world.”

“Engaging, honest, knowledgeable, relatable, clear, concise, communicative, smart, structures class well so we learn most we can, challenges class to engage with material.”

“INCREDIBLE WOMAN STUNNING STUNNING STUFF”

“Prof. Red Bird sometimes had trouble getting technology to work but honestly it was quite funny so I wasn’t complaining.”

paper: The New Closed Shop? The Economic and Structural Effects of Occupational Licensing

 
During the past few decades, licensure, a state-enforced mechanism for regulating occupational entry, quickly became the most prevalent form of occupational closure. Broad consensus among researchers is that licensure creates wage premiums through creation of economic monopolies. This article demonstrates that, contrary to established wisdom, licensure does not limit competition, nor does it increase wages, but rather encourages participation by institutionalizing the entry process. While these systems create barriers, they also standardize entry, creating a codified and publicized method of entry that increases access while stagnating quality, thus eliminating any net wage benefit. This paper is published in the June 2017 American Sociological Review. « Read It »    «Summary»    «ASA WIP Blog»

chapter: Rent, Rent-Seeking, and Social Inequality

Rent

The compensation paid out to workers reflects: (a) the value of their contribution to the firm or organization; and (b) a possible premium because of restrictions on competition. The latter restrictions, which may take the form of corruption or monopolies that preclude labor from freely flowing throughout the economy, allow for extraction of various types of rent. This article addresses the way rents are created, the sectors of the labor market that are gaining new opportunities to extract rent, and the sectors that are losing the capacity to extract. Although it is typically argued that all forms of rent are gradually withering away, the available evidence suggests, to the contrary, that rent destruction is mainly occurring at the bottom of the class structure. At the top of the class structure, new opportunities to collect rent appear to be emerging, a process that raises earnings among the already-privileged and thus increases income inequality. The foregoing characterization of the evidence, although not without support, is necessarily controversial, because of intrinsic difficulties in distinguishing the true marginal contribution of workers from returns that are attributable to market failure. « Read It »

2015. Red Bird, Beth, & David B. Grusky. “Rent, Rent-Seeking, and Social Inequality”, in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

chapter: Occupational Licensure and Changing Barriers to Immigrant Workforce Incorporation

Immigrant Jobs

 

For migrants arriving with little financial capital, or for those arriving as adults after the acquisition of education credentials in their countries of origin, licensing requirements can act as substantial barriers to entry. On the other hand, licensing institutionalizes entry, which may have the effect of enhancing accessibility for immigrants, and particularly for recent arrivals, who may otherwise lack the occupational social networks necessary to find and obtain jobs or the cultural capital to follow typical informal paths to entry. We show that licensing eases access into occupations for immigrants, but the effect is limited to those who are in the high-skilled primary labor market. Left behind are the most vulnerable immigrant labor groups – those who recently entered the country, and those who make the transition after achieving educational credentials that are not recognized by licensing bodies in their chosen occupations. With Koji Chavez.

Published in: 2015. In How Global Migration Changes the Workforce Diversity Equation, edited by Tayo Fashoyin, Michele Tiraboschi, Francesca Sperotti, Chris Tilly, and Pietro Manzella. Cambridge Scholar Publications.

Native American Inequality in the 21st Century

I am currently engaged in a systematic assessment of Native American inequality, a setting in which the forces of rent and closure are again substantial. This project responds to a regrettable lack of examination of Native socio-economic well-being.

This project provides the largest comprehensive examination in three decades of the social and economic standing of American Indians. Analyzing the Decennial Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the General Social Survey, I theorize that key structural shifts during this time brought about fundamental change, with an as-yet-unknown effect on Native inequality. The purpose of this project, then, is to put forth and adjudicate among three competing accounts.

Upward mobility model. This model posits a shrinking gap between American Indians and whites, as the overall well-being of American Indians improves. The Bureau of Indian Affairs relegated some control to the tribes, allowing them to take a more active hand in their own tribal social and health services. Additionally, through the tribal recognition process, the Department of the Interior promoted formalized tribal structures. Of equal importance, the advent of tribal colleges increased access to higher education.

Rising inequality model. Gains experienced by American Indians may be concentrated principally among a small number of beneficiaries, as a result of new forms of closure and new opportunities for collecting rent. The advancement of sovereignty and self-determination allowed tribal governments greater control over resources, resulting in the advent of development initiatives, such as Indian gaming, energy, and diversified use of tribal land. Some tribes have been able to take advantage of these trends, while others remain mired in situations reminiscent of the Indian experience from half a century ago. If the model holds, results will show an increase of within-Indian inequality, particularly by tribal affiliation. The analyses decompose between- and within-tribe inequality.

Stasis model. This model suggests that tribal services and development initiatives may prove to be too narrow to overcome the entrenched institutional problems facing Native Americans. Many key indicators of economic well-being suggest that Natives still show signs of an economic disadvantage similar to that of African-Americans. Indian labor market participation is lower than it was in 1980, and wages have declined relative to whites. These continued inequalities may partially result from continued Indian residential segregation, which not only reduces contact between whites and Indians, but also increases the distance between Indians and the goods, services, and jobs that compose the larger economy.

With a broad but thorough understanding of the social and economic impact of internal and external forces, it can be determined which interventions are successfully improving tribal well-being and which are insufficient to overcome greater institutional forces.

The thread tying all of this together is the simple proposition that boundaries both create inequality by generating rent and alter the relationships within and between bounded groups. Just as licensing alters the very structure of an occupation, Native boundaries, including industry closure resulting from gaming and energy projects, alter the relationship between tribe and state, and the change is amplified by simple geographic isolation. In a simple supply-demand framework, we might hypothesize that such projects would increase tribal revenue because tribes hold a monopoly on the activities, but there is little evidence of the effectiveness of such monopolies. As with licensing, it is unclear that this form of closure provides a direct economic advantage, but it does demarcate barriers between tribe and state in a way that can completely restructure relations between the two. The study of both generic rent-generating processes like licensure and highly-specific and tailored closure forms such as those at work in the Native context reveals the startling truth – that these are not simple economic devices, but fundamental institutional forces.

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Loneliness of Affluence

Individuals live simultaneously in a variety of social worlds.  Micro groups such as neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, churches, and associations, which are embedded in meso communities and macro societies.  Individuals are not passive in their choices of which of these worlds to inhabit; they seek out some environments while avoiding others.

From decades of research, sociologists know a lot about human relationships.  We know about your friends, your co-workers, and your neighbors.  Strangely, social scientists know very little about who you actually talk to every day or how well you know them.  In the course of your Saturday, you might spend five minutes with a neighbor and an hour with a friend, but what happened during the rest of the time?  When you exchanged money at the Starbucks or nodded at another parent at your child’s soccer game, you casually interacted with others, but we know virtually nothing about the collective mass of these micro-social exchanges or how they shape your perception of the world.

The proliferation of inequality has had profound consequences for segregation in social networks.  Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods segregated by income and to form families with people from similar class background.  While Americans are not as isolated as the most extreme recent estimates suggest, trust across social classes is low.

Social network analysis was supposed to provide revolutionary insight into the cause and consequences of interactions, but massive data requirements limited its utility.  There is good news, though – the right tools exist to take apart these interactions and study them.  By capitalizing on the wealth of data sources inherent to modern technology, we can track the connections between people, not just relationally, but experiential.

The project asks two major questions:

How do inequality and social class impact micro-social interaction?

I propose that segregation in micro-social exchanges is important to an advanced understanding of how connections and interactions shape large-scale outcomes.  Thus, I ask the simple question: “Who do you actually talk to?”  I want to know who you see every day, even if only for five minutes.

The first part of this project is an attempt to understand the class differences of the pattern of micro-social interactions.  How often do the wealthy and the poor actually interact? Beyond simply charting the frequency of interaction, we seek to understand the context of those interactions.  Do the rich only talk to the working class when they are being waited on, catered to, or served by them?  How much class segregation is there in everyday interactions?

I examine two types of interactions.  Respondents provide information about the context of their most recent interactions.  This includes demographic information on the alter (and a measure of certainty, as respondents may not know the demographics of someone they just met in passing), as well as questions about the quality and content of that interaction.  Respondents also provide information on their own family, friends, neighbors, and workplace interactions, including both .  These types of interactions include more data about the relationships history and than questions about their most recent interactions.

Preliminary Initial results from a seed study of 3,000 respondents shows that individuals experience the highest levels of income segregation among friend relationships, and the least among co-workers.  Income segregation in interactions is greater among high-income earners than low-income respondents.  Preliminary analysis also suggests that area segregation has a greater impact on the class segregation among recent and friendship interactions than among work interactions.  The results are similar when looking at segregation by level of education.

How does social interaction create the basis for economic opinions and attitudes?

From a practical standpoint the economy is an objective phenomena.  Unemployment is rising or it is not.  Jobs numbers are up or down.  Discussions of the economy, both from researchers, policy analysts, and the popular media all make this same assumption.

In truth, economic reality is not identical to all of us.  Humans create and maintain an understanding of social reality through social interactions with other people and institutions.  Some facts are brute, physical or biological facts;  others are social facts we construct out of language and institutional agreements. But they seem entirely real to those experiencing them: “Everyday life presents itself as a reality interpreted by men and subjectively meaningful to them as a coherent world”.

While it appears objective, knowledge of the economy is grounded in these social facts – and therefore in the inequalities that are knitted to them. Even objective facts, what we “know” as true, is derived from these spaces of inequality.  Differences in economic knowledge are the result of other inequality processes, have the potential to create inequality in outcomes, and are a form of inequality themselves.

Because such objective knowledge derives, at least in part, from social position, there is a relationship between economic knowledge and other inequality processes.  Where you sit in a larger tapestry of economic positions determines what you “know” about the economy at large.  Who your friends are, where you live, and the condition of your neighborhood all influence the objective facts that individuals “know”. This project seeks to understand the unstudied and under-defined relationship between interactions, economic knowledge, and attitudes.

 

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Occupational Closure and Inequality

Over the last three decades, there has been a weakening of institutions that historically allowed workers to capture rents, in particular the loss of collective bargaining power once held by unions, and the stagnation of the minimum wage. Rent exists wherever demand for labor exceeds supply because that supply is artificially restricted, typically through social or political barriers (termed closure).  The destruction of rent at the lower end of the wage distribution has been cited as one of the primary causes of the significant rise in income inequality. This narrative is not entirely complete.

During the past fifty years, licensure, a state-enforced mechanism for regulating occupational entry, quickly became the most prevalent form of occupational closure. Today, a higher percentage of workers hold an occupational license than worked in unions during the heyday of collective bargaining. Thus, over the last half-century, rent destruction at the lower end of the wage distribution has been coupled with the development of new rent-generating processes.

Established wisdom suggests that licensing should limit competition and raise wages. This might follow if unlicensed environments were purely competitive and all prospective occupational entrants have an equal opportunity to enter any given occupation. However, I demonstrate that licensing does not raise wages. Instead, once licensing is enacted, several important institutional changes occur. First, legal requirements create a publicly-accessible codified path of entry, replacing informal methods of entry such as social networks. Second, the enactment of a licensing law promotes the development of other institutions, such as vocational schools, complete with support systems like exam-oriented coursework, licensure application assistance, career counseling, job fairs, and networking opportunities, all of which are designed to make licensure requirements and employment outcomes manageable and attainable. Third, upon achieving licensure, newly-credentialed workers become entitled to use the state-endorsed signal of quality, a device which functions to bypass initial questions of employability and overcome any problems of ‘fit’, such as a race, gender, or age mismatch, that might otherwise keep a qualified worker from being selected. The net result of these processes is that labor supply actually increases following enactment. This is particularly true among traditionally disadvantaged workers such as women and minorities.

The larger contribution of this work is the examination of wage inequality outside the narrow supply-demand framework, and the conclusion that drawing boundaries does more than create monopoly rents. Instead, closure creates broad structural changes within an occupation and fundamentally alters the way the occupation works, both for its members and to outsiders.

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Disenrollment

A Native American tribe is doing exactly the opposite of what you’d think they’d do: they’re kicking people out of the tribe, huge numbers of them, including people whose ancestors without question were part of the tribe. And the story of a white guy who only wants to date Asian women, who then has to adjust to the reality of a real actual Asian woman in his life. The phrase “finding your tribe” is a total cliche — but one that does apply to certain situations. – This American Life (Mar 29, 2013)


 https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/491/tribes?act=1

 

movie: Queen of Versailles

The Queen of Versailles is a documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis that reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.