Contact: Alyssa Augustine
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(612) 204-5175

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Occupational Licensing Over Time and Across Countries

Minneapolis, September 4, 2018 Requiring government licenses to practice trades and professions is a rising trend in the United States and abroad. The Minneapolis Fed’s Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute is coordinating a two-day discussion in Chicago about occupational licensing from a global perspective, with attention to current policy, labor market consequences and policy options.

Organized by Institute senior scholar Morris Kleiner, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the conference will cover several topics, including international trends in licensing; the effects of occupational licensing on interstate migration, wages and access to care; and alternative regulatory policies.

“Occupational licensing has quickly become one of the main factors influencing labor markets in the U.S., restricting state-to-state migration, raising costs of services, and lowering wages,” said Mark Wright, Minneapolis Fed research director. “Evaluating existing policies is paramount to making sure our economy is working for everyone.”

The event, hosted by the Chicago Fed, will take place on September 13 and 14, 2018, and is co-sponsored by the St. Francis University Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and the Upjohn Institute.

Presenters and panelists include:

  • Alexander Acosta, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Laura Bloomberg, Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Chair
  • Erica Groshen, Cornell University, Upjohn Institute and former Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Brad Hershbein, Economist and Director of Information and Communication Services, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
  • Morris Kleiner, University of Minnesota and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
  • Andrea Martens, European Commission
  • Shabbir Merali, Economic Advisor to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, United Kingdom
  • Ed Timmons, Director, Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation, St. Francis University
  • Mark Wright, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

When: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 from 8:30a – 6:45p CT and Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 from 8:30a – 12:30p CT

Where: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. La Salle St., Chicago, IL 60604


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Media: Please RSVP by contacting Alyssa Augustine,, 612-204-5175

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations, and provides a variety of payments services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.