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Should the US Eliminate Entry Barriers to the Practice of Law? Perspectives Shaped by Industry Deregulation

Author

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  • Clifford Winston
  • Quentin Karpilow

Abstract

States' requirements that lawyers obtain a license to practice law, as well as American Bar Association (ABA) regulations of legal practice, constitute barriers to entry to the legal profession. In this paper, we argue that eliminating entry barriers in legal services would generate benefits that are similar to those resulting from deregulating U.S. network industries (i.e., transportation, communications, and energy.) Specifically, prices would fall as competition from incumbent firms and new entrants intensifies; in the long run, competitive forces and operating freedom would incentivize firms to produce innovations that significantly benefit consumers and the broader economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Clifford Winston & Quentin Karpilow, 2016. "Should the US Eliminate Entry Barriers to the Practice of Law? Perspectives Shaped by Industry Deregulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 171-176, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:5:p:171-76
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20161001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
    2. Clifford Winston, 1998. "U.S. Industry Adjustment to Economic Deregulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 89-110, Summer.
    3. Maheshri, Vikram & Winston, Clifford, 2014. "An exploratory study of the pricing of legal services," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(S), pages 169-173.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Occupational Licenses and Labor Market Outcomes," Discussion papers 17078, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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