NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Peter Q. Blair

Harvard University
Graduate School of Education
407 Gutman Library
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-458-6010

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NBER Program Affiliations: ED
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2018How Much of Barrier to Entry is Occupational Licensing?
with Bobby W. Chung: w25262
We exploit state variation in licensing laws to study the effect of licensing on occupational choice using a boundary discontinuity design. We find that licensing reduces equilibrium labor supply by an average of 17%-27%. The negative labor supply effects of licensing appear to be strongest for white workers and comparatively weaker for black workers.
July 2018Job Market Signaling through Occupational Licensing
with Bobby W. Chung: w24791
A large literature demonstrates that occupational licensing is a labor market friction that distorts labor supply allocation and prices. We show that an occupational license serves as a job market signal, similar to education. In the presence of occupational licensing, we find evidence that firms rely less on observable characteristics such as race and gender in determining employee wages. As a result, licensed minorities and women experience smaller wage gaps than their unlicensed peers.
 
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