Is the American job market becoming less fluid, as a new paper by Steven Davis and John Haltiwanger argues, with less job-switching and fewer vacancies opening up at established employers? And to the extent this is an unwelcome trend, which policies might be contributing to it? [The Economist; some possibly contrary data points from Alex Tabarrok]
Cato podcast, description follows:
Occupational licensing boards demand that hair braiders either spend thousands of dollars and hours to become cosmetologists or be put out of business. Paul Avelar with the Institute for Justice is challenging those requirements.
“The right and left agree — too many occupations are overregulated” [Morris Kleiner, New York Times via Peter Van Doren, Cato; Arnold Kling]
Coyote advances a geographically based hypothesis. Since occupational licensure is found in ethnically uniform nations, it can hardly owe its origins exclusively to this sort of tension. In the common American pattern, however, where one ethnic group dominates a given trade or occupation for a time and then gives way to or is challenged by a newer ethnic group, it may be easier to assemble political coalitions that slow down the advance of the newcomers. Milton Friedman’s famous chapter on occupational licensure from Capitalism and Freedom is here.
It’s a win for small tax return preparers and a loss both for unilateral assertions of agency power (Congress had never given the Internal Revenue Service the power it claimed here) and for big national tax-prep chains, which had supported the regulation with a view to suppressing “kitchen table” competitors. Andrew Grossman analyzes for Cato, and the Institute for Justice, representing independent tax preparers, can take due credit for a big legal win.
More: H & R Block’s CEO — of course! — is unhappy. And John Steele Gordon explains the role of the Horse Act of 1884.