The issue of the government regulation of occupations involves the role of government in reconciling the special interests of the practitioners with those of society. The strictest form of occupational regulation is occupational licensing which is extensive and growing. In 2008, nearly 30 percent of the workforce was required to hold a license up from around 10 percent in 1970. There are potential job loss implications in the growth of occupational licensing for the labor market and the economy. An alternative form of regulation, the certification of occupations, which does not impose a “closed shop” on entry and mobility, may be a policy to avoid the job loss implications of occupational licensing.
W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research Policy Paper no. 2011-009