Humphrey blog posts

Why is it so hard to become a cosmetologist in America?

Morris Kleiner addresses how occupational licenses boost wages.

In the Middle Ages, guilds emerged to establish quality standards for crafts, and to protect the craftsmen from competition. A similar phenomenon -- regulatory capture -- is at work in some state capitals, with occupational guilds lobbying pliant legislatures to restrict access to their fields. According to a 2009 study by the economists Morris Kleiner and Alan Krueger, an occupational license provides a wage boost of about 14 percent, roughly similar to the increase attributable to union membership.

September 16, 2012

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs