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

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.

 

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.

news: So You Think You Can Be a Hair Braider?

Jestina Clayton grew up in a village in Sierra Leone where every girl learns traditional African hair-braiding. Then, when she was 22, she moved to Centerville, Utah, a place where no one learns traditional African hair-braiding. So Clayton was pleasantly surprised to find a niche in the market among a small group of Utah parents who had adopted African children but didn’t know how to style their hair.

Clayton moved to the United States as an 18-year-old and headed out to Centerville to be near her in-laws. After graduating from college, she considered getting an office job but decided instead to start her own hair-braiding operation and began advertising on a local Web site. “It’s not like it was bringing me millions,” she says, “but it was covering groceries.” At least until a stranger who saw the ad e-mailed her a demand to delete it. “It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license,” the e-mail read. “Please delete your ad, or you will be reported.”

A cosmetology license required nearly two years of school and $16,000 in tuition. But Clayton hoped for an exemption. After all, many Utah cosmetology schools taught little or nothing about African-style hair-braiding, and other states allowed people to practice it after passing a hygiene test and paying a small fee. Clayton made her case (via PowerPoint) to the exhaustively named governing body of Utah hair-braiding, the Barber, Cosmetology/Barber, Esthetics, Electrology and Nail Technology Licensing Board. The board, made up largely of licensed barbers and cosmetologists, shot her down.

This isn’t just a random Utah law. There are more than 1,000 licensed professions in the United States, partly a result of more than a century of legal work. As the country industrialized, state governments wanted to protect their citizens and create standards not just for lawyers and doctors but also for basic services. It didn’t take long for professional groups to find that they also stood to benefit from the regulations. Over the years, more and more started to lobby for licensing rules, often grand­fathering in existing professionals while putting up high barriers to new competitors. In fact, businesses contorting regulation to their own benefit is so common that economists have a special name for it: regulatory capture. “Everyone assumes that private interests fight like crazy not to be regulated,” says Charles Wheelan, who teaches public policy at the University of Chicago. “But often, for businesses, regulation is your friend.”
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After being shot down by the board, Clayton allied with a Utah state representative who had adopted several children from Africa. The representative proposed a bill that would exempt hair-braiding from the cosmetology licensing law, but she was no match for the cosmetologists, who have started grass-roots campaigns in several states to fight the loosening of license rules. They turned out in full force in Utah. “We encourage regulation,” says Brad Masterson, a spokesman for the Professional Beauty Association. “Why should everyone else who’s doing hair have to conform to requirements and not her?”
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Continue reading the main story

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Once upon a time, these barriers weren’t such a big deal. In 1950, fewer than 5 percent of Americans worked in jobs that required licenses. Today, it’s roughly 30 percent, and that number is likely to grow. In the coming years, global competition and the increasing rate of technological change will force many workers to bounce from career to career throughout their working lives. Nearly 13 million Americans are out of work; since the start of the recession, the manufacturing sector alone has lost about two million jobs. There’s little doubt that laid-off factory workers will find themselves increasingly looking for opportunities in landscape contracting, athletic training and in hundreds of other professions that require licenses. “When, say, the tattoo artists come up for licensure, nobody follows the debates, nobody outside the profession cares about the resolution,” Wheelan says. “You add up how many of these there are — hundreds — and suddenly we’re talking about a sizable portion of the labor market.”

Almost nobody is calling for wholesale abolition of professional licensing. I sleep better at night knowing that the commercial pilots flying over my apartment are trained and licensed. A wide range of economists and activists, however, are looking for ways to loosen the rules in a productive way. Michelle Obama has been pushing to make it easier for military spouses, who move frequently, to pursue their careers in new states without bureaucratic entanglements. The Institute for Justice, a libertarian legal group, has filed lawsuits in several states arguing that certain licensing rules are “arbitrarily interfering with citizens’ ability to earn an honest living.” The group, which represents Jestina Clayton in Utah, has filed cases on behalf of African-style hair braiders in several other states. Dean Baker, the well-known liberal economist, argues that if we have free trade for goods, we should also have it for high-end services.

A bolder idea, of course, would be for states to get rid of the licensing rules that are doing more harm than good. A group of economists, including Alan B. Krueger, now the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, proposed something along these lines last year. But pushing this sort of policy, beyond being a logistical nightmare, can be “political suicide,” says Morris Kleiner, a University of Minnesota economist who co-wrote the proposal. “When you talk about reductions in licensing, you have every occupation from the plumbers to the C.P.A.’s to the electricians lining up to argue why regulation should not be reduced,” he says. Arguing for the other side you have, basically, Jestina Clayton.

This is the pattern that creates regulatory capture — the people with the biggest stake in any regulation are usually the ones who are being regulated. When there’s a public hearing on, say, implementing new rules for trading derivatives, most of the people who show up are the people who trade derivatives. And these people, who generally know the most about trading derivatives, can use their expertise to try to create rules that benefit themselves. In the high-school-­civics model, the insiders would be countered by smart, well-informed opponents who could argue for the public interest. But real life has nothing to do with high-school civics.

The challenges to the U.S. economy are obvious. Millions of people are unemployed, underemployed or giving up on finding work while nations like China, India, Brazil and South Africa are nimble and growing fast. Our best shot at creating a decent economy in the future will come from making it easier for workers to shift out of dying careers and into promising ones. Workers need to be able to experiment and to fail (quickly and often) until they find the real, valuable skills that customers will pay for. This will take years. And in order for them to do that, we need to start by making it easier to braid hair in Utah.

By JACOB GOLDSTEIN
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