Can regulation be worse than minimum wage and labor unions?

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Fortuneteller_4Both florists and turtle farmers require occupational license in Louisiana and the state of Maryland mandates licensing for fortune tellers. Adam Summers from the Reason Foundation, estimates in his new report the cost of burdensome regulation in the U.S. at nearly $40billion per year.

Occupation licensing has a significant impact on the labor market, yet it receives very little attention. During the 1950s, about 4.5 percent of the workforce needed to obtain a license to work. That figure has grown to over 20 percent today.

David Kaplan and Enrique Seira have looked at the other side of the story.

Their new paper measures the effect that SARE - a regulatory simplification program in Mexico, which cut the time necessary to obtain a business license from 30 to 2 days - had on business start-ups. They find that in its first 10 months, SARE led to 4 percent higher firm creation in eligible industries.

So exactly what kind of a test does a fortune teller has to pass in Maryland?

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