Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2015

Abstract

In this Essay, we raise some economic concerns about the wisdom of conferring antitrust immunity on professional licensing boards, which are often comprised of members of the profession and therefore apt to be motivated by self-interest rather than the public interest. In Part II, we examine the political economy of special interest legislation, which suggests that little public good results from replacing competitive market forces with self-regulation. In Part III, we employ a basic economic model to generate predictions of the economic effects of professional licensing. Part IV provides a survey of the empirical research in this area, which confirms the theoretical predictions. In Part V, we turn our attention to the requirements of the state action doctrine and, in Part VI, close with some concluding remarks and suggestions. In all of what follows, we focus on occupational licensing within health care professions.

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