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Relaxing occupational licensing requirements : analyzing wages and prices for a medical service

Author: Morris M Kleiner; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 19906.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Morris M Kleiner; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 871034276
Notes: Title from http://www.nber.org/papers/19906 viewed February 26, 2014.
"February 2014."
Description: 1 online resource (53 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 19906.
Responsibility: Morris M. Kleiner [and others].

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.

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