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Milton FriedmanContributions to Economics and Public Policy$
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Robert A. Cord and J. Daniel Hammond

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704324

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704324.001.0001

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Milton Friedman and Occupational Licensing

Milton Friedman and Occupational Licensing

(p.480) Chapter 25 Milton Friedman and Occupational Licensing
Milton Friedman

Morris M. Kleiner

Oxford University Press

The chapter presents the contributions of Milton Friedman to the economics of occupational licensing and to the effect that this type of regulation has on the economy. Friedman’s interest in occupational licensing developed as part of his dissertation. Beyond identifying what was happening to incomes, he also explained the reasoning behind the occupational licensing wage premium, by showing how doctors had limited the supply of physicians through restrictions on the number of openings in medical school. The political economy work by Friedman focused in detail on how the professions limit entry and thereby raise prices and limit access to consumers across a broad spectrum of occupations. Another major cost of occupational licensing is that it is likely to reduce innovation and put the members of the occupation, rather than consumers, in control of the service market prices and access.

Keywords:   consumers, prices, occupational licensing, regulation, wage premium

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