Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 14 No. 4 (Fall 2000)


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Occupational Licensing

Article Citation

Kleiner, Morris M. 2000. "Occupational Licensing." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(4): 189-202.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.4.189


The study of the regulation of occupations has a long and distinguished tradition in economics. In this paper, I present the central arguments and unresolved issues involving the costs and benefits of occupational licensing. The main benefits that are suggested for occupational licensing involve improving quality for those persons receiving the service. In contrast, the costs attributed to this labor market institution are that it restricts the supply of labor to the occupation and thereby drives up the price of labor as well as of services rendered. Alternative public policies for this institution are identified.

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Kleiner, Morris M. (Humphrey Inst of Pub Affairs and Industrial Rel Ctr, U MN)

JEL Classifications

J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
D45: Rationing; Licensing
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J44: Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing


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