ERIC Number: ED128581
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
An Economic Analysis of Occupational Licensure. Final Report.
To examine the hypothesis that occupational licensure is primarily a restrictive device to protect those licensed from competition, analysis focused on the licensure of non-professional occupations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, covering 36 licenses issued by the three states for 12 occupations (e.g. electricians, barbers, opticians) and 3 sub-classes within those occupations. The study examined the composition of the licensing boards; their policies with respect to prices, advertising, and work constraints; constraints specifically incorporated in legislation; and the examination process. On ten of twelve licensure examinations for which adequate data were available, statistically significant positive correlations were found between failure rates and unemployment rates, supporting the hypothesis. Other findings were that licensing processes generated work restrictions, jurisdictional disputes among occupations, and restrictions on price competition; that licensure by reciprocity is rare and difficult to achieve; that licensure boards pay little attention to consumer complaints; that boards seldom revoke licenses; and that they are overwhelmingly composed of members of the licensed occupation with a vested interest in protecting those already licensed. The report is presented in four parts: (1) Legislation, the Boards, and Restrictionism; (2) Origins of Licensing Legislation; (3) The "Record" on Complaints; and (4) Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations for effective reform. (Author/HD)
Descriptors: Certification, Competitive Selection, Credentials, Economic Research, Employment Qualifications, Labor Utilization, Nonprofessional Personnel, Occupational Mobility, Occupations, Skilled Occupations, Skilled Workers, State Legislation, State Licensing Boards, State Standards, Tests
National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22151
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Employment and Training Administration (DOL), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rhode Island Univ., Kingston. Dept. of Economics.
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Massachusetts; Rhode Island