The title of this post is a tweak on the title of this paper, “Doctors with borders”, in which the authors show that medical licensing boards work to keep outsiders out. In this case the outsiders are foreign trained physicians. There is no public safety reason for forcing foreign trained doctors – who can pass the same residency eligibility requirements as US citizens (see the paper)- to complete more/longer residency and training requirements than US-born residents. And yet, that’s exactly what licensing boards do (again, see the paper, Figure 3. The residency requirement is roughly twice as long for foreign-trained doctors than for US-trained doctors).

As Mark Perry regularly writes, occupational licensure boards are never (primarily) about public safety. They are about rent-seeking and monopolizing markets. They are about keeping outsiders out and protecting those on the inside. Consumers – of anything coming from a licensed occupation – would be much better off without occupational licensing. There would be more supply of goods/services and/or the supply would be less expensive.

-JD Cross

Thanks to Mungowitz for posting this.