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What is the objective of professional licensing? Evidence from the US market for lawyers

  • Pagliero, Mario

According to public interest theory, professional licensing solves the lemon problem generated by asymmetric information. In contrast, the capture theory claims that licensing aims at increasing professional salaries by restricting supply. This paper shows that the two theories can be identified using data from one regulated profession and provides an empirical application to the US market for entry level lawyers. The empirical results support capture theory.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 473-483

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:4:p:473-483
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  2. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
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  9. Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
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  11. Morris M. Kleiner, 2006. "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lo, December.
  12. Edward Timmons & Robert Thornton, 2008. "The Effects of Licensing on the Wages of Radiologic Technologists," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 333-346, December.
  13. Kraakman, Reiner H, 1986. "Gatekeepers: The Anatomy of a Third-Party Enforcement Strategy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 53-104, Spring.
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  15. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  16. Harrington, David E & Krynski, Kathy J, 2002. "The Effect of State Funeral Regulations on Cremations Rates: Testing for Demand Inducement in Funeral Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 199-225, April.
  17. Haas-Wilson, Deborah, 1986. "The Effect of Commercial Practice Restrictions: The Case of Optometry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 165-86, April.
  18. Morris M. Kleiner, 2000. "Occupational Licensing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 189-202, Fall.
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