Dissertation Abstract

The Economic Effects of Licensing of Radiologic Technologists, Massage Therapists, and Barbers

Publication Number:  AAT3247214
Author:  Timmons, Edward J.
School:  Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date:  2007
Subject:  Labor economics

Occupational licensing directly affects approximately 20% of workers in the U.S (Kleiner 2006). Although the scope of the effect of licensing is broad, it has not yet received an appropriate level of attention in the existing economics literature. In particular, there are very few studies examining the effect of licensing upon the earnings of practitioners in fields requiring less than a standard four-year degree. This dissertation extends the existing literature by estimating the effects of licensing on the earnings of radiologic technologists (RTs), massage therapists (MTs), and barbers. I begin the dissertation with an introduction in Chapter 1. I then summarize the existing economics literature on occupational licensing and its effects in Chapter 2. Chapters 3 through 5 examine the effects of licensing on the earnings of RTs, MTs, and barbers respectively. I conclude the dissertation with Chapter 6. For each occupation, I find some evidence that licensing increases earnings. The magnitude of the results is comparable to those found in previous studies. When comparing my results across the three occupations I examine, I find that licensing has the largest effect upon the earnings of barbers. This result provides some possible evidence that the magnitude of the effect of licensing and the length of time that a profession is licensed are positively correlated.

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