NBER Working Papers by Marc Law

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Working Papers

July 2009Medical Licensing Board Characteristics and Physician Discipline: An Empirical Analysis
with Zeynep K. Hansen: w15140
This paper investigates the relationship between the characteristics of medical licensing boards and the frequency with which boards discipline physicians. Specifically, we take advantage of variation in the structure of medical licensing boards between 1993 and 2003 to determine the effect of organizational and budgetary independence, public oversight, and resource constraints on rates of physician discipline. We find that larger licensing boards, boards with more staff, and boards that are organizationally independent from state government discipline doctors more frequently. Public oversight and political control over board budgets do not appear to influence the extent to which medical licensing boards discipline doctors. These findings are broadly consistent with theories of regulatory ...

Published: Law, Ma rc T. and Zeynep K. Hansen (2010 ), “Medical Licensing Board Characteristics and Physician Discipline: An Empirical Analysis,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy , and Law 35 (1): 63 - 93 . Also available as NBER Working Paper No: 15140.

January 2006The Political Economy of "Truth-in-Advertising" Regulation During the Progressive Era
with Zeynep Hansen: w11927
This paper explores the origins and impact of "truth-in-advertising" regulation during the Progressive era. Was advertising regulation adopted in response to rent-seeking on the part of firms who sought to limit the availability of advertising as a competitive device? Or was advertising regulation desired because it furnished a mechanism through which firms could improve the credibility of advertising? We find the available qualitative and quantitative evidence to be more consistent with the latter hypothesis.

Published: Hansen, Zeynep K. and Marc T. Law. “The Political Economy of Truth-in-Advertising Regulation during the Progressive Era.” Journal of Law and Economics 51, 2 (May 2008): 251-69. citation courtesy of

December 2004The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform: The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906
with Gary D. Libecap: w10984
We examine three theories of Progressive Era regulation: public interest, industry capture, and information manipulation by the federal bureaucracy and muckraking press. Based on analysis of qualitative legislative histories and econometric evidence, we argue that the adoption of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act was due to all three factors. Select producer groups sought regulation to tilt the competitive playing field to their advantage. Progressive reform interests desired regulation to reduce uncertainty about food and drug quality. Additionally, rent-seeking by the muckraking press and its bureaucratic allies played a key role in the timing of the legislation. We also find that because the interests behind regulation could not shape the enforcing agency or the legal environment in whic...

Published: The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform. The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, Marc Law, Gary D. Libecap. in Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, Glaeser and Goldin. 2006

May 2004Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation
with Sukkoo Kim: w10467
This paper explores the origins and effects of occupational licensing regulation in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. Was licensing regulation introduced to limit competition in the market for professional services at the expense of efficiency? Or was licensing adopted to reduce informational asymmetries about professional quality? To investigate these hypotheses, we analyze the determinants of licensing legislation and the effect of licensing on entry into eleven occupations. We also examine the impact of medical licensing laws on entry into the medical profession, physician earnings, mortality rates, and the incidence of medical malpractice. We believe that, at least for the Progressive Era, the evidence is more consistent with the asymmetric information hypothesis tha...

Published: Law, Marc T. and Sukkoo Kim. "Specialization And Regulation: The Rise Of Professionals And The Emergence Of Occupational Licensing Regulation," Journal of Economic History, 2005, v65(3,Sep), 723-756. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

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