Our goal is the provide a starting point for scope of practice research projects. Here we provide an overview and collection of the literature. Missing something you expected? Published a new paper or news article? Just shoot us an email and we will be happy to update the reference list. Since this list is actively evolving, we will be adding to it regularly.

Labor Market Effects

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Kandrack, Ryan, Hilary Barnes, and Grant Martsolf (2019). “Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Regulations and Nurse Practitioner Supply.” Medical Care Research and Review, 78(3):208-217.

Kleiner, Morris and Robert Kudrle (1992). “Do Tougher Licensing Provisions Limit Occupational Entry? The Case of Dentistry.” NBER Working Paper Series, w3984.

Markowitz, Sara, and E. Kathleen Adams (2020). “The Effects of State Scope of Practice Laws on the Labor Supply of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.” NBER Working Paper Series, w26896.

McMichael, Benjamin (2018). “Beyond Physicians: The Effect of Licensing and Liability Laws on the Supply of Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 15(4):732-771.

McMichael, Benjamin, Joanne Spetz, and Peter Buerhaus (2019). “The Association of Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Laws with Emergency Department Use: Evidence from Medicaid Expansion.” Medical Care, 57(5):362-368.

Spetz, Joanne, Susan Skillman, C. Holly Andrilla (2017). “Nurse Practitioner Autonomy and Satisfaction in Rural Settings.” Medical Care Research and Review, 74(2):227-235.

Spetz, Joanne and Ulrike Muench (2018). “California Nurse Practitioners are Positioned to Fill the Primary Care Gap, but They Face Barriers to Practice.” Health Affairs, 27(9):1466-1474.

Stange, Kevin (2014). “How Does Provider Supply and Regulation Influence Health Care Markets? Evidence from Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.” Journal of Health Economics 33:1-27.

Working Papers, Policy Briefs, Opinion Editorials, and Newspaper Articles

Timmons, Edward and Conor Norris (2018). “CLIA Waiver Pharmacy Growth: How Does Broadening Scope of Practice Affect the Pharmacist Labor Market?” Mercatus Working Paper, available online.

Health Outcomes

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Alexander, Diane and Molly Schnell (2019). “Just What the Nurse Practitioner Ordered: Independent Prescriptive Authority and Population Mental Health.” Journal of Health Economics, 66:145-162.

Kleiner, Morris, and Robert Kudrle (2000). “Does Regulation Affect Economic Outcomes? The Case of Dentistry.” The Journal of Law and Economics, 43(2):547-582.

Kleiner, Morris and Kyoung Park (2010). “Battles Among Licensed Occupations: Analyzing Government Regulations on Labor Market Outcomes for Dentists and Hygienists.” NBER Working Paper Series, w16560

Markowitz, Sara, E. Kathleen Adams, Mary Lewitt, and Anne Dunlop (2017). “Competitive Effects of Scope of Practice Restrictions: Public Health or Public Harm?” Journal of Health Economics, 55:201-218.

Muench, Ulrike, Christopher Whaley, Janet Coffman, and Joanne Spetz (2020). “Scope-of-Practice for Nurse Practitioners and Adherence to Medications for Chronic Illness in Primary Care.” Journal of General Interest Medicine, available ahead of print.

Traczynski, Jeffrey and Victoria Udalova (2018). “Nurse Practitioner Independence, Health Care Utilization, and Health Outcomes.” Journal of Health Economics, 58:90-109.

Working Papers, Policy Briefs, Opinion Editorials, and Newspaper Articles

Adams, E. Kathleen, and Sara Markowitz (2018). “Improving Efficiency in the Health-Care System: Removing Anticompetitive Barrier for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants.” The Hamilton Project, Policy Proposal 2018-08, Available online.

Chen, Jie, Chad Meyerhoefer, and Edward Timmons (2020). “The Effects of Dental Hygienist Autonomy on Dental Care Utilization.” CGO Working Paper, available online.

Timmons, Edward, Jason Hockenberry, and Christine Durrance (2016). “More Battles among Licensed Occupations: Estimating the Effects of Scope of Practice and Direct Access on the Chiropractic, Physical Therapist, and Physician Labor Market.” Mercatus Research, Available online.

Cost of Care and Prices

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Kleiner, Morris, Allison Marier, Kyoung Park, and Coady Wing (2016). “Relaxing Occupational Licensing Requirements: Analyzing Wages and Prices for a Medical Service.” The Journal of Law and Economics, 59(2): 261-291.

Norris, Conor and Edward Timmons (2020). “Restoring Vision to Consumers and Competition to the Marketplace: Analyzing the Effects of Required Prescription Release.” Journal of Regulatory Economics, 57:1-19.

Poghosyan, Lusine, Edward Timmons, Gilgy Abraham, Grant Martsolf (2019). “The Economic Impact of the Expansion of Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice for Medicaid.” Journal of Nursing Regulation, 10(1):15-20.

Spetz, Joanne, Stephen Parente, Robert Town, Dawn Bazarko (2013). “Scope-of-Practice Laws for Nurse Practitioners Limit Cost Savings that can be Achieved in Retail Clinics.” Health Affairs, 32(11):1977-1984.

Timmons, Edward (2017). “The Effect of Expanded Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Scope of Practice on the Cost of Medicaid Patient Care.” Health Policy, 121(2):189-196.

Working Papers, Policy Briefs, Opinion Editorials, and Newspaper Articles

Hicks, Jason and Morris Kleiner (2019). “Dental Therapists: A Solution to Wisconsin’s Costly Dental Access Problem?” Badger Institute, available online.

Quality and Safety

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Kleiner, Morris (2014). “Occupational Licensing in Health Care.” Encyclopedia of Health Economics, 409-413.

Kurtzman, Ellen, Burt Barnow, Jean Johnson, Samuel Simmens, Donna Infeld, and Fitzhugh Mullan (2017). “Does the Regulatory Environment Affect Nurse Practitioners’ Patterns of Practice or Quality of Care in Health Centers?” Health Services Research, 52:437-458.

McMichael, Benjamin, Barbara Safriet, and Peter Buerhaus (2018). “The Extraregulatory Effect of Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Laws on Physician Malpractice Rates.” Medical Care Research and Review, 75(3):312-326.

Timmons, Edwards, and Anna Mills (2018). “Bringing the Effects of Occupational Licensing into Focus: Optician Licensing in the United States.” Eastern Economic Journal, 44:69-83.

Analysis of Novel Data Sets

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

McMichael, Benjamin and Sara Markowitz (2020). “Toward a Uniform Classification of Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Laws.” NBER Working Paper Series w28192.

Spetz, Joanne, Christopher Toretsky, Susan Chapman, Bethany Phoenix, and Matthew Tierney (2019). “Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Waivers to Prescribe Buprenorphine and State Scope of Practice Restrictions” JAMA, 321(14):1407-1408.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Adams, E. Kathleen, and Sara Markowitz (2019). “Loosening Restriction on the Scope of Practice for PAs.” Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, 32(1):8-9.

Kleiner, Morris (2016). “Battling over Jobs: Occupational Licensing in Health Care.” American Economic Review, 106(5):165-170.

Perry, John (2012). “State-Granted Practice Authority: Do Nurse Practitioners Vote with Their Feet?” Nursing Research and Practice, available online.

Pittman, Patricia, Brandi Leach, Chris Everett, Xinxin Han, Debra McElroy (2020). “NP and PA Privileging in Acute Care Settings: Do Scope of Practice Laws Matter?” Medical Care Research and Review, 77(2):112-120.

Xue, Ying, Zhiqiu Ye, Carol Brewer, and Joanne Spetz (2016). “Impact of State Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Regulation on Health Care Delivery: Systematic Review.” Nursing Outlook, 64(1):71-85.

Opioids and Scope of Practice

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Grecu, Anca, and Lee Spector (2019). “Nurse Practitioner’s Independent Prescriptive Authority and Opioids Abuse.” Health Economics Letter, 28:1220-1225.

Ladd, Elissa, Casey Sweeney, Anthony Guarino, Alex Hoyt (2017). “Opioid Prescribing by Nurse Practitioners in Medicare Part D: Impact of State Scope of Practice Legislation.” Medical Care Research and Review, 76(3):337-353.

Lozada, M. James, Mukaila Raji, James Goodwin, Yong-Fang Kuo (2020). “Opioid Prescribing by Primary Care Providers: a Cross-Sectional Analysis of Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, and Physician Prescribing Patterns.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(9):2584-2592.

McMichael, Benjamin (2020). “Occupational Licensing and the Opioid Crisis.” UC Davis Law Review, 54:87-966.

Muench, Ulrike, Joanne Spetz, Matthew Jura, Chaoran Guo, Cindy Thomas, and Jennifer Perloff (2019). “Opioid-Prescribing Outcomes of Medicare Beneficiaries Managed by Nurse Practitioners and Physicians.” Medical Care, 57(6):482-489.

Nikpour, Jacqueline and Marion Broome (2021). “Impact of Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice on Treatment for Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Disorder: A Scoping Review.” Journal of Nursing Regulation, 11(4):15-25.

Pan, Kevin and Andrea Collins (2020). “Exploratory Descriptive Analysis of Opioid Prescribing Prevalence of Nurse Practitioners and the Specialties Associated with the Top Prescribers.” International Journal of Nursing Practice, 26:e12850.