Table of Contents

Handbook on the Politics of Regulation

Handbook on the Politics of Regulation

Elgar original reference

Edited by David Levi-Faur

This unique Handbook offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive, state-of-the-art reviews of the politics of regulation. It presents and discusses the core theories and concepts of regulation in response to the rise of the regulatory state and regulatory capitalism, and in the context of the ‘golden age of regulation’. Its eleven sections include forty-eight chapters covering issues as diverse and varied as: theories of regulation; historical perspectives on regulation; regulation of old and new media; risk regulation, enforcement and compliance; better regulation; civil regulation; European regulatory governance; and global regulation. As a whole, it provides an essential point of reference for all those working on the political, social, and economic aspects of regulation.

Chapter 33: Regulation of Professions

Nuno Garoupa

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy, public policy, regulation and governance


Nuno Garoupa Generally, a profession can be defined as an occupation with the following general characteristics: it requires a specialized skill, partially or fully acquired by intellectual training; it provides a service calling for a high degree of integrity; and it involves direct or fiduciary relations with clients (Ogus, 1994: 216). Certain professions, namely lawyers, notaries, physicians, pharmacists, accountants, architects and engineers, appear to be relatively highly regulated. A trend of more state intervention in the regulation of professions and a decline in self-regulation has been observed in recent times. For many decades formal regulation of professional services was a feature of American legal exceptionalism, whereas Europeans tended to rely more on informal, tacit and consensual mechanisms that were in part conducive to self-regulation. Independent regulatory authorities using new techniques of formal regulation, including more precise rules, paved the way in the 1980s. Quite expectedly, this approach has proliferated into the regulation of professions. Statute law used to play a limited role, whereas selfregulatory rules essentially emerged from professional societies and associations across Europe. Currently, state interventionism, by governments and competition authorities, has reshaped the regulatory framework of the professions throughout Europe. In fact, professional regulatory activities have been included in the current public policy agenda.1 The current developments on the regulation of professions can be understood in the larger context of regulation-for-competition (Levi-Faur, 2011). More than an era of deregulation of professional services, we can observe a pattern of reregulation with the explicit goal of promoting more competition and...

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