Ethics and Lobbying: The Case of Real Estate Brokerage
Members of licensed occupations benefit from legal standards that limit entry into their professions. Is it ethical for these professionals to give political support to these standards? I examine the case of real estate brokers and find that their educational requirements raise average commissions by one quarter of a percentage point, costing consumers $5.4 billion per year without improving the quality of brokerage services. The case raises interesting ethical issues which are difficult to resolve.