Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Occupational Licensing & Textbooks

In the latest issue of Econ Journal Watch, E. Frank Stephenson and Erin Wendt survey labor textbooks' coverage of occupational licensing. They find that the minimum wage and unions are discussed at much greater length than occupational licensing despite the latter's more prominent effect on the labor market. The shortage is disturbing:
Consider the textbook by George Borjas. There are 11 pages covering the minimum wage. If he devoted pages in proportion to workers covered, then 11 pages on the minimum wage would correspond to 99 pages on licensing. Ehrenberg and Smith would give 72 pages to licensing. Hyclak, Johnes, and Thornton would give 135 pages to licensing. Instead, in each case, there is zero.
Read the whole article, and take note of Tables 1 and 2.


Anonymous said...
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Matt E. Ryan said...

That was me removing that comment-- though if anonymous slander now plagues TPS, our eventual world domination must be nearing. :)