The political obstacles to occupational licensure reform

Libertarians and economists have applauded the Obama administration for calling attention lately to the high cost of legal exclusions on who can practice common jobs. “The share of the workforce that has a required state license — for everything from hearing aid dealers to funeral parlor owners — has grown from 5 percent in the 1950s to nearly 29 percent today, [said Jason Furman, chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers], sometimes with the effect of raising prices for consumers.” But in “taking on cosmetologists — and other licensed professions — the White House may have picked a fight it can’t win.” [Lydia DePillis, Washington Post]

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