Call for Papers for An International Symposium on the Regulation of Occupations

In 2010 the British Journal of Industrial Relations (BJIR) devoted a special issue to the government regulation of occupations that influenced academic scholarship and policy. The analysis of the issue has grown considerably with the implementation of new theoretical and empirical techniques, and the evolution of more detailed data worldwide.  Regulation has become still more pervasive in western industrialized nations with the growth of governmental licensing of occupations and its potential influence on the labor market and for consumers.  It is also evolving in labour markets in China and other developing countries.  Across the world governments and non-profit organizations have precluded individuals from working in an occupation for pay for quality, health and safety, consumer protection, and the disproportionate harm unscrupulous or incompetent practitioners may have on society. The benefits of the regulations to licensed workers may include incentives to take on additional training with more secure returns.  The further benefits of occupational regulations to practitioners  may be higher wages that are reallocated from consumers, and result in  lost output. These concerns have made occupational regulation one of the major policy issues in the US, the EU and the OECD.


The BJIR is calling for papers for a special issue of the Journal devoted to the regulation of occupations.  The objective is to re-examine the extent and influence of occupational regulation in nations around the world.  Topics of interest include, but are not  limited to:

–          the antecedents of occupational regulation;

–          the wage and employment implications of occupational regulation across and within nations;

–          the relationship between government regulation of occupations and other labour market institutions, such as unions;

–          case analysis of specific occupations;

–      the price effects on services of occupational licensing the implications of the regulation for consumer satisfaction and safety of their services.


A selection of papers will be chosen for presentation at a special conference to be held at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) of the London School of Economics in March 2018.  Financial assistance is available for those presenting papers at the symposium. The papers presented at the conference will be included, subject to BJIR’s refereeing process, in a special issue of the journal which will be published  after the conference.


Those interested are invited to submit papers to Thomas Gaston at or to by 15 January 2018. If you wish to discuss a proposed paper then please contact Alex Bryson ( or Morris Kleiner (