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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Accounting (Business)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Dhananjay Nanda

Second Committee Member

Andrew Leone

Third Committee Member

Peter Wysocki

Fourth Committee Member

Laura Giuliano


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.


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