• Dick M. Carpenter
    Senior Director of Strategic Research
  • Lisa Knepper
    Senior Director of Strategic Research
  • Angela C. Erickson
    Former Senior Research Analyst
  • John Ross
    Editor and Producer, Short Circuit

Regulating work

This study examines the scope and burden of occupational licensing laws in the United States for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations. Findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring workers, on average, $US209 in fees, one exam, and about nine months of education and training, plus minimum grade and age levels. Data also indicate striking disparities in requirements within and between occupations and within and between states. These inconsistencies likely reflect not the relative public health and safety risks of occupations, but instead the lobbying prowess of practitioners in securing laws to shut out competition.

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