New Research on Occupational Licensing, Data Privacy, and Medical Drones

New Mercatus research from the week of Jan 14-21

Occupational Licensure Will Not Ensure the Provision of Capable and Competent Music Therapy Services

Jared Rhoads | State Testimony

In a recent state testimony, Jared Rhoads addressed occupational licensing for music therapists in New Hampshire. The typical argument put forth in favor of occupational licensure is that bringing the activity under the aegis of the state is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the public. Without such oversight, the argument goes, the public would be exposed to incompetent practitioners and the alleged harms that go with that exposure.

If New Hampshire passes HB 1286-FN, the most significant effect will be to create a regulatory barrier to new individuals who wish to help people through music therapy. By restricting licensure, this bill would incur substantial new costs in terms of time and money and result in less competition for existing music therapists, allowing them potentially to charge higher rates for their services. In the name of helping consumers, licensure therefore is likely to do a net disservice to consumers, as it would result in fewer choices in music therapy services.

Considerations for North Dakota regarding Consumer Data Privacy Policy

Jennifer Huddleston | State Testimony

In a recent state testimony, Mercatus research fellow Jennifer Huddleston outlines considerations for North Dakota legislators regarding current data privacy landscape in that state and the concerns of Introducing new regulations. She details America’s existing laws regarding consumer data, exploring the contrast between America’s permissionless approach to information technology against Europe’s precautionary approach. She focuses on potential problems and constitutional concerns, including issues under the Dormant Commerce Clause and creation of a disruptive patchwork,  before arguing for a single, federal standard. Finally, she lays out ways state data privacy policies can focus on the government’s own actions or actions that are solely intrastate. 

Wisconsin Occupational Licensing: Easing the Burden for Service Members, Former Service Members, and Military Spouses

Matthew D. Mitchell | State Testimony

Occupational licensure continues to be a substantial barrier to employment across many fields of work. Mercatus senior research fellow Matthew D. Mitchell discusses Senate Bill 654 in Wisconsin and addresses these barriers which persist for certain populations such as lower-income Americans or the spouses of active-duty military personnel. He points out that occupational license requirements are a significant and growing barrier to work, are economically costly and often arbitrary, and reduce employment opportunities while having a disparate impact on certain communities in particular. 

Overcoming Technological and Policy Challenges to Medical Uses of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Robert Graboyes, Darcy N. Bryan, MD, and John Coglianese | Research Paper

In a new research paper, senior research fellow Robert Graboyes, senior affiliated scholar Darcy N. Bryan, and economist John Coglianese explore solutions to technological and policy challenges to better utilize drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for medical purposes. The authors discuss the myriad ways drones are saving lives outside the United States but note that safe and reliable UAV medical transport in America will be costly and complicated given the current air traffic and established infrastructure. Considering the current challenges, UAV medical technology will need strong support across all levels of government to be successful.