AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper “Occupational Licensing: Keeping People Poor.”

“Occupational licensing is a barrier that prevents individuals from entering the labor market of their choice and often provides very few benefits in terms of public safety,” said TPPF’s senior economist and director of the Center for Economic Prosperity Dr. Vance Ginn. “Deregulating licenses is the best way to allow skilled individuals into their profession so Texans have more opportunity to prosper.”

The paper, written by Dr. Ginn and Dr. Edward Timmons, professor of economics and director of the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at Saint Francis University, explores whether occupational licensing is a barrier to prosperity for Texans and all Americans.

The key points of the paper are:

  • Occupational licensing is the most strenuous form of labor market regulation available to state, local, and federal governments.
  • The intent is to protect the public from harm caused by unqualified or untrained service providers.
  • Texas’ licensing laws are ranked 21st most burdensome as the state regulates a wide variety of occupations, from high school head coaches to cosmetologists to doctors.
  • Licensure results in increased wages and decreased competition for incumbents, stifling innovation and burdening consumers with artificially high costs.
  • The Texas Legislature should eliminate those unnecessary barriers to opportunity while considering other options to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

To read the full paper, please visit: