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»