Campus News

Gatton’s Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise to Host Occupational Licensing Program Sept. 20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2018) — The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise (IFSE) at University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics is hosting a presentation about occupational licensing on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The program, featuring a pair of key leaders from the Institute for Justice, begins 6 p.m., in Gatton’s Kincaid Auditorium (Room 111 in the Gatton College Building). The event is free and open to the public.

Dick Carpenter, the director of strategic research for the Institute for Justice, will be joined by Lee McGrath, senior legislative counsel for the organization.

Carpenter is the author of a book, "Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profits," which calls for the repeal of occupational licensing regulations in the labor market in Kentucky and across the nation. According to Carpenter, by excluding competitors, licensed practitioners can command higher prices from consumers. He also contends the costs do not end there, citing fewer job opportunities and reduced interstate mobility, while the purported social benefits of greater protection of health and safety rarely materialize.

“Occupational licensing currently impacts one-third of U.S. workers and is linked to higher costs for the public," said Aaron Yelowitz, director of IFSE and professor of economics in the Gatton College. “Dr. Carpenter’s book highlights just how profoundly bottleneckers have impacted the economic marketplace — from tours in Washington, D.C., to self-help columns in the Lexington Herald-Leader — in order to improve their own economic position at the expense of many others. We are delighted to have two of the leading experts in the nation share their insights with our campus community.”

The reference to a self-help column in the Herald-Leader by Yelowitz concerns an attempt several years ago by the Kentucky Attorney General’s office to ban John Rosemond’s long-running parental advice column from appearing in the Commonwealth because Rosemond is not a licensed psychologist in Kentucky. That attempt ultimately was unsuccessful. Rosemond is licensed in North Carolina.

The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the role that markets play in the economy and in society. The institute’s mission is to generate intellectually rigorous research and an open dialogue to discover and understand how free enterprise affects peoples’ lives and the well-being of society.

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