The Abuse of Occupational Licensing
Occupational licensing is invariably justified as a means of protecting the public against incompetent and dishonest practitioners. The effect of mandatory licensure, however, is often to restrict entry into an occupation, thereby reducing competition among established members. Professor Gellhorn finds ample evidence that the proliferation of pseudo professions has adversely affected occupational mobility and economic competition, and warns that even such well-intended proposals as requiring the certification of lawyers with specialized practices may have similar consequences. He concludes that less restrictive forms of licensing should be employed to protect the public against shoddy or fraudulent services without curtailing occupational freedom.