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The Economics of Professional Ethics: Should the Professions Be More Like Business?

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  • Matthews, Robin C O
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    Abstract

    Recent government policy has favored making the professions more like business. On this policy, "cheating" (exploitation of asymmetric information or neglect of externalities) is prevented by regulation; drawbacks include high transaction costs of regulation, and consequent dangers of ineffectiveness and adverse selection. This paper considers a possible rationalization of traditional competition-reducing arrangements in the professions, viewed as an alternative policy. These arrangements prohibit practices that offer a temptation to cheating, even at the cost of restricting competition. They rely on the prevalence of a distinctive professional morality in order to prevent restriction of competition from leading to monopolistic exploitation. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 101 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 407 (July)
    Pages: 737-50

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    Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:407:p:737-50

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    Cited by:
    1. Maria Rosaria Carillo, 2000. "The Effects Of Professionalisation And The Demand For Social Status On The Adoption Of New Technologies," Working Papers 1_2000, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    2. Georg Meran & Reimund Schwarze, 2007. "Can minimum prices assure the quality of professional services?," Working Papers 2007-07, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    3. Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "The case against lawyers’ contingent fees and the misapplication of principal-agent models," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 263-292, October.
    4. Martin Schneider, 2002. "Performance Management by Culture in the NLRB’s Division of Judges and the German Labor Courts of Appeal," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200205, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    5. Martin Schneider, 2002. "Leistungssteuerung und Karriereanreize für „professionals“: Ein Vergleich deutscher und amerikanischer Berufsrichter," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200203, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    6. Wolfgang Weigel, 1999. "Ratgeber und Ratsuchende in der Wirtschaftspolitik," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 25(2), pages 201-216.

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