Physician licensing is one of those issues where economics and ordinary intuition conflict. Most people believe that licensing serves to protect consumers from incompetent doctors. Economists worry that licensing is a form of supply restriction and rent-seeking. EconJournalWatch, a publication recommended by Alex Tabarrok, looks at the economics literature on the topic.

many economists view licensing as a significant barrier to effective, cost efficient health care. State licensing arrangements have limited innovations in physician education and practice patterns of health professionals…
Consumers would benefit from a regulatory environment in which health care provider organizations and hospitals are free to employ health manpower in flexible ways and medical training is offered in a variety of forms.

For Discussion. Could the same be said for the Ph.D “license” and the tenure “license” in economics?