Occupational Licensing, Antitrust, and Innovation
Every state has laws or regulations that require individuals seeking to offer a certain service to the public first to obtain approval from the state before they may operate in the state. Recent years have seen a significant proliferation of such laws, with less than 5% of jobs in the American economy requiring a license in the 1950’s to between 25-30% today. Although licensing in some occupations may benefit the public by reducing information asymmetry and/or ensuring a minimum quality level for a particular service, the significant growth in the number of occupations governed by some form of licensing requirements poses a potential threat to competition and consumer welfare. Our panel of experts discussed these important issues.
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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.
Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Associate Professor of Law and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy
Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
Baker Botts LLP