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Publication Date

2015-06-30

Availability

UM campus only

Embargo Period

2017-02-02

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Accounting (Business)

Date of Defense

2015-05-14

First Committee Member

Dhananjay Nanda

Second Committee Member

Andrew Leone

Third Committee Member

Peter Wysocki

Fourth Committee Member

Laura Giuliano

Abstract

I use professional accountants' career histories from LinkedIn and the staggered state-level adoption of the 150-hour Rule (the Rule) as a natural experiment to test the Rule's impact on career outcomes. My analysis is premised on the economic theories of human capital, barriers to entry and screening. I find that the Rule is associated with increases in CPA exam pass rates and a reduction in candidate supply. My analysis of LinkedIn data shows that individuals subject to the Rule are more likely to be employed at a Big 4 public accounting firm and to specialize in tax. These individuals spend a larger part of their career in public accounting, have the same likelihood of promotion, but exit public accounting at faster rates than their non-Rule counterparts. Results suggest that the Rule has not been purely a screening mechanism nor has the screening/human capital effect dominated the other effects.

Keywords

Occupational Licensure; CPA Licensure; Screening and Human Capital; Labor Market Outcomes; Pooled Synthetic Control; The 150-Hour Rule

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