Advancing Human Betterment
Dedicated to evaluating the contribution of economic liberty to human betterment.
The phenomenal upswing in human well-being and prosperity over the past two hundred years has been fueled by the idea of economic liberty and the alignment of formal and informal institutions which enhanced its effect. The Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, a joint endeavor of the W. P. Carey School of Business and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, is dedicated to becoming a leader in research that affects liberty-enhancing public policy and increases public and academic awareness of the history and philosophy of economic liberty.
Measuring the Influence of Self-Interest in Occupational Licensing
Occupational licensing policies are widely understood to suppress employment and entrepreneurial opportunities as well as raise prices to consumers. What has not been studied much is the mechanism by which occupational licensing restrictions are influenced by the boards created to enforce them.
This study focuses on the specific example of cosmetology boards to create an index that measures the extent to which that industry’s licensing boards are “captured” by incumbent license holders as well as representatives from cosmetology schools. Many states require that board seats be awarded to members of the public, ostensibly for the purpose of providing some balance in deliberations. However, those members rarely have a majority of seats and can be easily outvoted.
Doing Business North America
The Doing Business North America 2021 report is a first-of-its kind report that provides objective measures of business regulations across 134 cities in 92 states, provinces and districts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Comprised of over 12,000 data points, it uses 111 variables to create 28 data indicators spread over six categories to score and rank cities in regard to how easy it is to set up, operate, and shut down a business.
By gathering and analyzing comprehensive quantitative data to compare business regulation environments across North America, Doing Business North America will offer measurable benchmarks for reform that encourage states and provinces to pursue regulatory frameworks that ease the cost of doing business.
A Case for Occupational Licensing Reciprocity
Many workers must go through the lengthy and costly process of getting a new occupational license when they move to a new state because the ability to bring a current license with them — license portability — doesn’t exist for most workers.
This study makes a case for licensing reciprocity that can simultaneously encourage competition between states and provide the greatest opportunity for the largest number of people. It also outlines administrative improvements that can be enacted at the state level, including an expedited application process for incoming license applicants and transparency and accountability requirements for licensing boards.