Restoring Vision to Consumers and Competition to the Marketplace: Analyzing the Effects of the 2004 FCLCA

20 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017

See all articles by Conor Norris

Conor Norris

Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation

Edward Timmons

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

Occupational licensing laws can create monopoly power for professionals in the marketplace. In the case of vision services, optometrists have the authority to write prescriptions for contact lenses, and this can result in professionals excluding information to force patients to purchase lenses from the professional writing the prescription. In this paper, we estimate the effect of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) on the market for vision services. We find that requiring professionals to release prescription information to patients resulted in a 10-11% reduction in the wages of optometrists. We are unable to find evidence that the change affected the labor market for opticians.

Keywords: occupational licensing, FCLCA, eyewear

JEL Classification: J44

Suggested Citation

Norris, Conor and Timmons, Edward, Restoring Vision to Consumers and Competition to the Marketplace: Analyzing the Effects of the 2004 FCLCA (April 28, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2960289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2960289

Conor Norris

Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Edward Timmons (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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