• Morris M. Kleiner,

    1. MORRIS M. KLEINER is Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs at the University of Kansas' School of Business. He is currently working on an NSF funded study of the economic effects of occupational licensing.
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  • Robert S. Gay,

    1. ROBERT S. GAY is an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and was formerly on the faculty of Brooklyn College.
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  • Karen Greene

    1. KAREN GREENE is a manpower analyst with the Employment and Train ing Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor. She has published several monographs and articles on occupational licensing.
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  • 1

     This study was funded through a grant from the Office of Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor and the University of Kansas Research Fund. The authors benefited from the capable assistance of Oded Dromi, Ann Strees, and Dorothy Crooks. The points of view or opinions stated in this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of the agencies funding the project.


The authors estimate the impact of occupational licensing on interstate migration and earnings. Interstate misallocation of labor resources and a redistribution of income in favor of the most highly regulated occupations is seen as a consequence of licensure barriers. The article presents descriptive information about the barriers to mobility posed by licensure; it compares interstate migration rates; and it develops an econometric model of licensing, migration, and earnings for those in universally licensed occupations.