Influence of Occupational Licensing and Regulation

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    The influence of Occupational Licensing and Regulation
    (IZA World of Labor, 2017) Kleiner, Morris M.
    Since the end of World War II, occupational licensing has been one of the fastest growing labor market institutions in the developed world. The economics literature suggests that licensing can influence wage determination, the speed at which workers find employment, pension and health benefits, and prices. Moreover, there is little evidence to show that licensing improves service quality, health, or safety in developed nations. So, why is occupational licensing growing when there are such well-established costs to the public?
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    Regulating Access to Work in the Gig Labor Market: The Case of Uber
    (W. E. Upjohn Institute, 2017) Kleiner, Morris M.
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    Reforming Occupational Licensing Policies
    (2015-03) Kleiner, Morris M.
    Occupational licensing has been among the fastest growing labor market institutions in the United States since World War II. The evidence from the economics literature suggests that licensing has had an important influence on wage determination, benefits, employment, and prices in ways that impose net costs on society with little improvement to service quality, health, and safety. To improve occupational licensing practices, I propose four specific reforms. First, state agencies would make use of cost-benefit analysis to determine whether requests for additional occupational licensing requirements are warranted. Second, the federal government would promote the determination and adoption of best-practice models through financial incentives and better information. Third, state licensing standards would allow workers to move across state lines with a minimal cost for retraining or residency requirements. Fourth, where politically feasible, certain occupations that are licensed would be reclassified to a system of certification or no regulation. If federal, state, and local governments were to undertake these proposals, evidence suggests that employment in these regulated occupations would grow, consumer access to goods and services would expand, and prices would fall.