More Battles among Licensed Occupations: Estimating the Effects of Scope of Practice and Direct Access on the Chiropractic, Physical Therapist, and Physician Labor Market

Primary-care physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists (PTs) may all potentially treat patients experiencing back and neck pain—a $300 billion market. This paper examines how state-level changes in chiropractic scope of practice and PT direct access to patients influence the wages, hours worked, and employment of each practitioner. The results suggest that expansions in chiropractic scope of practice are associated with an increase in average chiropractor wages and a slight reduction in the average hours chiropractors work per week. Ther is little evidence that PT direct access has affected the labor market for any of the three studied practitioners.

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