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Free-Market Alternatives to Government Permission Slips (Guest: Conor Norris)

July 12, 2018

In this episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast, research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with the Mercatus Center’s Conor Norris about how the free market can replace government occupational licensing regimes.

In this episode of the Heartland Institute’s Daily Podcast, research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with the Mercatus Center’s Conor Norris about how the free market can replace government occupational licensing regimes, at lower cost to society.

According to Norris, supporters of occupational licensing often argue that the practice conveys information about the quality of services to consumers and boosts the earnings of individuals with licenses, encouraging them to develop their human capital.  Occupational licensing comes with steep costs for society, such as restricting employment opportunities for potential workers, reducing choice for consumers, and increasing the cost of services, Norris says.

Norris says voluntary certification of teachers by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) can do the same thing as government permission slips for teaching, without requiring the government. NBPTS certification provides a framework for how a voluntary certification program can achieve the same goals as occupational licensing without the costs to society that occupational licensing imposes, he says.

Parents value this information about quality, creating a market for NBPTS-certified teachers, Norris says. Private alternatives to occupational licensing can provide consumers with information about quality without the restrictions and costs of occupational licensing, he says.

Author
Jesse Hathaway is the managing editor of Budget & Tax News, a publication of The Heartland Institute.
jhathaway@heartland.org @JesseinOH