Field of (Broken) Dreams?
A recent analysis by the Archbridge Institute found that in neighboring Iowa, occupational licensing requirements added between 1993 and 2012 was associated with a 4.7% reduction in economic mobility and a 10.9% increase in income inequality.
Growth in occupational licensing is associated with fewer opportunities for workers to earn more than their parents and a widening of the gap between the rich and poor. Occupational licensing limits opportunities for employment and prevents hard working Iowa residents from achieving the American Dream.
One might reasonably expect that Nebraska's experiences with occupational licensing would have similar effects on the labor market–which is, of course, why we at the Platte Institute have been working to expand opportunity in this area of life. The idea of the American dream assumes that individuals can pursue their dreams without undue interference from the government.
Our state did, however, get a little positive shoutout in the article!
The bordering state of Nebraska moved forward with comprehensive reform two years ago with passage of the Occupational Board Reform Act. The law subjects 20% of occupational regulations to annual review and sets forth guidelines to determine if occupational licensing is the appropriate form of regulation
The first round of reviews was done during the last interim period by all but one of the committees. We will continue to offer our assistance to committees and committee staff–and will encourage them to do more than a pro forma review, and instead look to questions of whether current regulation is appropriate.