Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Barber Licensure and the Supply of Barber Shops: Evidence from US States, Cato Journal 36(3), 647-657.
(with J.C. Hall)


Occupational licensure is on the rise. According to Kleiner (2014), over 29 percent of the U.S. workforce required some form of license. While a number of studies estimate the wage effects of occupational licensure, few studies look at the impact of licensure on entry into new business formation. In this paper we focus on the impact on barber shops, since many barber shops are sole proprietorships. Using state-level data on the occupational licensure of barbers from the Institute for Justice, we find that the number of exams required to become a barber is negatively related to the number of barber shops. We find no evidence that other state-level regulations of barbering such as average fees or the minimum age necessary to practice are associated with fewer barber shops.


Freedom and Entrepreneurship: A Spatial Econometric Approach, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy 5(3), 404-411.
(with J.C. Hall and D. J. Lacombe)

Previous studies have estimated the effect of economic freedom on various measures of entrepreneurship. While many studies find a positive relationship between economic freedom and entrepreneurship, very few of these studies account for possible spatial autocorrelation. Moreover, the development of an overall freedom measure has allowed researchers to test the relationship between overall freedom (personal plus economic) and entrepreneurship. The literature, however, does not account for spatial dependence in entrepreneurial activity. We estimate the spatial impact of overall freedom on entrepreneurship using a spatial autoregressive model and find no evidence of spatial dependence in entrepreneurial activity.


Does the Median Voter or Special Interests Determine State Highway Expenditures? A Replication and Update of Bennett and Congleton (1993), Atlantic Economic Journal 45(1), 59-69.
(with J. C. Hall)

Using cross-sectional data from fifty states of the United States and the District of Columbia for two different time periods, this paper examines the degree to which special interests or the median voter determines state highway expenditures. In addition to finding that previous estimates of the determinants of state highway expenditures are robust, we find that that special interests that were important in 1984 were no longer significant nearly 20 years later. Like the previous literature, we conclude that the reduced form median voter model performs well in explaining state highway expenditures. 




Working Papers

"State Exit Exams and Graduation Rates: A Hierarchical SLX Modelling Approach" (with Joshua C. Hall and Donald J. Lacombe) (2017)

“State Wine-Industry Campaign Contributions and State Wine Excise Taxes: A Spatial Econometric Approach” (2016) Under Review.

“Federal Regulations and Corporate Returns in the United States (2004-2013)” (2016)

“Taxation and Development: A Comparative Historical Political Economy Approach” (with Joshua C. Hall and Kai C. Tay) (2015)