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2 Essay Contest Winners Are ACRE Undergraduate Fellows

By Caleb Taylor

Tanner Corley and Zakree Massey, 2019–2020 ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellows, are two winners of the 2020 Carl Menger Essay Contest announced this week. The third winner is from Hillsdale College. 

Corley and Massey will each receive $500 after attending and presenting at the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics meeting at the virtual Southern Economic Association conference on November 23.

The essay contest was open to undergraduate students and recent graduates from any discipline. Entrants had to be enrolled in undergraduate coursework at some point during the contest year, and must not hold a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree as of January 31.

Massey’s essay was entitled “Expanding the Use of Nurse Practitioners and Young Adult Mental Health.” Massey analyzes the state-by-state effects that stricter nurse practitioner regulations have on certain populations’ mental health. Massey finds that, on average, there is a positive relationship between scope of practice and mental health; in other words, states that give nurse practitioners full authority/less regulations tend to have better mental health.

Massey is from Perryville, Arkansas. He is a 2020 graduate of UCA with a B.S. in economics and currently attends graduate school at the University of Arkansas. 

For more of ACRE’s research on nurse practitioners, check out our labor market regulation page.

Corley’s essay was entitled “Rent-Seeking for Occupational Licensing: Evidence from the History of Barber Licensing in Arkansas.” Corley argues occupational licensing is in most cases a form of rent-seeking for better wages, less competition, and control over the industry. By examining the Arkansas Barber License Law and its origins, Corley argues that barbers sought rents from the state legislature and justified the law and their efforts as a public health measure.

Corley is from Bismarck, Arkansas. He is an ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellow for the 2020-2021 academic year.  He is a senior with a double major in History and Political Science. After graduating he plans to attend graduate school for history.

Corley also wrote a publishable research paper that was presented online at the 1st Annual Knee Center Occupational Licensing Conference on May 29. 

For more of our work on occupational licensing, check out our labor market regulation page.

Essays had to be the sole and original work of the entrant and not previously published. Essays were submitted in the format of a scholarly article and between 4,000 and 12,000 words.