Is occupational licensing a barrier to interstate migration?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Occupational licensure may limit the interstate movement of workers because it adds to the cost of moving between states. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations, proxying for the difficulty of the regulations by comparing state-specific licensed occupations to those with national licensing exams. Our empirical strategy also uses individuals who move a long distance, removing the influence of occupation characteristics and self-selection of migration-averse individuals into licensed occupations. Our estimates show that occupational licensing reduces interstate migration, but the magnitude of the effect can only account for a small part of the overall decline in recent decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-373
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

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