MIP network member Peter Blair and ECI emerging scholar Bobby Chung sat down with HCEO earlier this year to discuss their working paper, "Occupational Licensing Reduces Racial and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation."

"We find something really surprising, which is that in the presence of occupation licensing, racial wage gaps are reduced and also gender wage gaps are reduced," Blair says.

The paper shows that job licensing reduced these wage gaps as they enable firms to rely less on race and gender as predictors of worker productivity. HCEO took a closer look at this paper in a recent Research Spotlight.

"We’re not saying that licensing is good. We’re saying the licensing provides information to the labor market," Blair says. "We know labor markets and markets in general require information in order to transact efficiently. And that’s what we’re showing in our paper."

Chung also discussed this job market paper, which looks at how racial peer effects impact long term outcomes such as college enrollment.

"We always think that the average quality of your peers matters, but there are actually other alternatives that can effect our performance," Chung says.

Blair is an Associate Professor of Economics at Clemson University, where Chung is a Ph.D. candidate. You can read their working paper here.