April 8, 2014

Moving company licensing in Missouri: a case study in rent-seeking

By Moving company licensing in Missouri: a case study in rent-seeking

the newest issue of the GMU Civil Rights Law Journal includes my article on licensing laws for moving companies in Missouri, prior to our lawsuit challenging them. I believe this is the first empirical survey of a Certificate of a Public Convenience and Necessity law in a normal, competitive market. Most economic research on these laws has been in public utility industries or have been entirely theoretical. This article, however, shows how existing firms resolutely used the licensing rules to block potential competition–without any concern for public safety– just as public choice theory would predict.

Of course, the same pattern surfaced in Kentucky, where we successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Certificate requirement for moving companies.

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