State regulation of occupations has become more prevalent even while its negative consequences are becoming understood. This raises questions about the source of such regulation and the extent to which the interests of the public are being represented. In my study of the regulation of health occupations, I explore the influence of organized interest groups, of the general public interest, and the structure of the legislature and the political environment. I analyze six health occupations (dietician, nurse-midwife, occupational therapist, physician assistant, psychologist, and social worker) and find that although organized interest groups do influence how these occupations are regulated, the public interest also plays an important role.

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