Relaxing Occupational Licensing Requirements: Analyzing Wages and Prices for a Medical Service

54 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2014

See all articles by Morris M. Kleiner

Morris M. Kleiner

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Allison Marier

Abt Associates, Inc.

Kyoung Won Park

Hanyang University

Coady Wing

Indiana University

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

Occupational licensing laws have been relaxed in a large number of U.S. states to give nurse practitioners the ability to perform more tasks without the supervision of medical doctors. We investigate how these regulations may affect wages, employment, costs, and quality of providing certain types of medical services. We find that when only physicians are allowed to prescribe controlled substances that this is associated with a reduction in nurse practitioner wages, and increases in physician wages suggesting some substitution among these occupations. Furthermore, our estimates show that prescription restrictions lead to a reduction in hours worked by nurse practitioners and are associated with increases in physician hours worked. Our analysis of insurance claims data shows that the more rigid regulations increase the price of a well-child medical exam by 3 to 16 %. However, our analysis finds no evidence that the changes in regulatory policy are reflected in outcomes such as infant mortality rates or malpractice premiums. Overall, our results suggest that these more restrictive state licensing practices are associated with changes in wages and employment patterns, and also increase the costs of routine medical care, but do not seem to influence health care quality.

Suggested Citation

Kleiner, Morris M. and Marier, Allison and Park, Kyoung Won and Wing, Coady, Relaxing Occupational Licensing Requirements: Analyzing Wages and Prices for a Medical Service (February 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19906. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2400233

Morris M. Kleiner (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

and the Industrial Relations Center
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-2089 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Allison Marier

Abt Associates, Inc. ( email )

55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-1168
United States

Kyoung Won Park

Hanyang University

No Address Available
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Coady Wing

Indiana University ( email )

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
34
Abstract Views
669
PlumX Metrics