Professional licenses do not lead to better quality services
Professional licenses raise barriers, not quality. In an alarming number of professions in the United States, prospective practitioners must obtain government authorization to work legally. This type of professional license could make sense, for example, for doctors and pharmacists; less for tree trimmers and tour guides. Much of it seems to come down to gate control, i.e. existing workers and businesses wanting to keep the number of new market entrants low.
Proponents of professional licensing (including politicians, people in licensed professions, and members of the general public who accept their rationale) will tell you that licensing systems exist to ensure that workers are well qualified. But a new report from the Institute for Justice (IJ) challenges this conventional (and self-serving) wisdom.
“Proponents of licensing argue that professional licensing makes it better for consumers by weeding out workers who may be providing substandard service,” said Dick Carpenter, senior director of strategic research at IJ. “But our findings offer no reason to believe that licensing, and its increasingly stringent forms, promote safe and quality service.”
For the study, IJ — a public interest law firm that frequently challenges onerous professional licensing requirements — looked at Yelp reviews for six types of services, comparing those in states with different types of regimes. of licenses.
Professions studied included interior decorators, locksmiths, manicurists, tree trimmers, barbers and cosmetologists. For the first four, IJ compared exams in states where licenses were required for those professions with exams in bordering states where no license was required. For barber and cosmetology, IJ looked at states with less stringent licensing regimes and compared them to states with more stringent requirements. Overall, the study included nine sets of state pairings, with a focus on service providers located close to state borders.
In a comparison—between licensed tree cutters in Maryland and unlicensed tree cutters in Virginia—the without license professionals had higher ratings.
In eight of the nine comparisons, IJ found no statistically significant differences in consumer ratings between licensed and unlicensed (or licensed and less strictly licensed) professionals.
“So, for example, cosmetologists’ ratings in Connecticut were no better than those of cosmetologists in New York, even though Connecticut requires 1,500 hours of schooling versus 1,000 hours in New York,” IJ explained in a statement. Press.
“There are several possible reasons why licensing does not guarantee safer and higher quality services,” said Carpenter, who is one of the study’s two authors. “First, ordinary market incentives can do the job on their own. Second, sometimes licensing requirements don’t actually match what it takes to do the job well. Finally, strict requirements can also deter people who would do a good job from entering the field.”
You can read the full IJ report, “Raising Barriers, Not Quality,” here.
DISCLOSE The act will not move forward. Senators voted 49 to 49 yesterday on whether to pass the DISCLOSE law, which would require groups engaged in political communication to disclose their donors. That means the bill won’t go ahead (and that’s a good thing).
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) and Ice-T are partnering:
— Nico Perrino (@NicoPerrino) September 22, 2022
Self-preference should not be an antitrust offense, argues Giuseppe Colangelo of the International Center for Law and Economics in a new working paper. It has become popular among Democratic lawmakers and bureaucrats to suggest that tech companies should not be allowed to give preference to their own products, such as when Amazon offers free shipping for its own merchandise but not those of its competitors. Google puts Google Maps at the top of search results, or Apple phones come preinstalled with Apple apps. Democrats argue that this should be considered unlawfully anti-competitive behavior, that is, a violation of antitrust laws. But in many cases, self-preference doesn’t just make sense for tech companies. It also allows for a better user experience.
Colangelo outlines the issues in the summary of his article:
Whether self-preference is inherently anti-competitive has perhaps emerged as the central issue in competition policy for digital markets. Large online platforms that act as stewards of their ecosystems and engage in bimodal intermediation have been accused of taking advantage of these hybrid business models to give preferential treatment to their own products and services. In Europe, courts and competition authorities have advanced new antitrust theories of harm that target such practices, as have various legislative initiatives around the world. Following the decision of the General Court of the European Union in Google Shoppinghowever, it is important to weigh the risk that labeling self-preference as in itself anti-competitive behavior may simply allow antitrust authorities to circumvent the legal standards and burdens of proof generally required to prove anti-competitive behavior. This article examines whether and to what extent self-preference should be considered as a new autonomous infringement under European competition law.
While the document – which you can read in full here – focuses on European antitrust law and practice, it also has implications for US markets. A push against self-preference is at the heart of the US Online Innovation and Choice Act, which is sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) but has bipartisan support.
• A new note of the Ministry of Justice says “sStates cannot impose criminal or civil liability on [Veterans Affairs] employees, including doctors, nurses and administrative staff, who provide or facilitate abortions or related services” when “the life or health of the pregnant person would be in danger if the pregnancy were carried to term or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.”
• A new memo from the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Labor reveals that the office has identified more than $45.6 billion in potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance payments made between March 2020 and April 2022.
• An appeals court says there will be no double jeopardy if the Backpage founders face a new trial after a mistrial was declared last fall.
• A new survey reveals that both capitalism and socialism are losing ground, especially among the democrats, reports JD Tuccille.
• National conservatism is a direct threat to religious freedom, writes David French.
• “At least two other underage girls who became pregnant as a result of sexual assault were forced to leave Ohio to avoid having their rapists’ babies, according to sworn affidavits filed by abortion providers,” said the Ohio Capital Journal reports.
• The idea that Democrats actually want to defund the police has proven to be laughable.
• “An Indiana judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s near-total abortion ban a week after it went into effect, allowing clinics to resume proceedings amid litigation over the new law continues,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
• “In May, an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that Florida’s ridicule [social media] the content moderation law was clearly unconstitutional,” notes Mike Masnick on Techdirt. Now Florida has asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.
• Looooooooooool (/sigh):
NEW: TikTok just told me that the day before the FDA released NyQuil chicken, there were *5* searches on the app. Since yesterday, searches have increased by more than 1400xhttps://t.co/YUn9FALJSq
— kelsey weekman (@kelsaywhat) September 22, 2022