Competition in Professional Services
214 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2002
Date Written: February 3, 2000
This document (of 214 pages) comprises the proceedings of an OECD roundtable on competition policy towards the regulation of professional services (also known as occupational regulation).
The regulation of the quality of professional services has, for a long time, created headaches for competition policy-makers and law enforcers. Where markets fail to provide adequate quality levels and where the consequences of poor quality are severe, policymakers typically step in to regulate quality of professional services, typically through licensing, standard-setting and quality monitoring. These functions are often delegated to the profession itself, which has an incentive to limit entry into the profession to restrict competition. This roundtable discussed competition policy problems raised by the self-regulation of professional service providers and the means for dealing with them, from law enforcement to advocacy. It also describes how changes in international regulation can promote competition by increasing the possibility of trade across boders for professional business services such as accounting, law and engineering.
This document consists of a paper by the OECD, country submissions from 14 OECD countries and a summary of the oral discussion.
Keywords: Occupational regulation, professional services, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, doctors, professional associations
JEL Classification: L43, L84
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation