5 U. St. Thomas J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 52 (2010-2011)
License to Profit: An Analysis of Entry Regulations in the Legal and Real Estate Professions

handle is hein.journals/tjlpp5 and id is 286 raw text is: LICENSE TO PROFIT: AN ANALYSIS OF
What do fortune tellers, florists, barbers, real estate agents, lawyers and
nuclear engineers have in common? All these professionals must obtain
licenses in order to perform their work legally in the United States. The
generally stated goal and main justification for this particular entry
regulation is to ensure quality of goods or services provided to the public by
eliminating dishonest practitioners and charlatans from the market. A
reasonable person would agree that it is necessary to control proficiency of
nuclear engineers because their mistakes could result in disasters leading to
tremendous negative consequences for the population and the environment.
Also, the reasonable person would agree that fortune tellers', florists' or
barbers' mistakes, in a worst case scenario, could ruin a customer's mood
and potentially cause some insignificant money loss. After comparing basic
potential consequences of nuclear engineers', fortune tellers', florists' and
barbers' mistakes, the reasonable person would probably wonder whether
licensing requirements should be similar for these professions. An expert
researcher would inquire further and would be interested in studying
whether licensure, in fact, improves the quality of services or restricts
competition in the professions and increases practitioners' incomes.
The goal of this work is, first, to choose two professions, one where a
professional's, mistake could cause significant and irreversible damages,
and another where that is not entirely the case. The second step is to study
the development of entry regulations in each of these professions. The final
step is to investigate whether these regulations arejustifiable, and whether
the ultimate beneficiary of those is the professional himself, or the
customer. The legal profession was chosen for its impact on society.
1. Ph.D. Candidate, Suffolk University, Department of Economics, 8 Ashburton P., Boston,
MA 02108, (617) 573-8023, evvmail@gmail.com. I thank Dr. Benjamin Powell and Aleksandra
V. Nikitenko for helpful comments on earlier drafts.

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