Occupational licensing may be one reason why:
Occupational licensing is not unique to the United States. Based on
information gathered in 2012 from the then twenty- seven nations in
the European Union (EU), between 9 and 24 percent of
European workers are subject to occupational licensing, which
translates to between 19 million and 51 million individuals. These
estimates of the share of the workforce that is licensed, even at the
higher end, are still lower than the estimated share in the United
States, which is slightly under 30 percent (Koumenta et al. 2014).
Similar to U.S. states, the extent of occupational licensing
varies widely across countries in the EU: Bulgaria, Estonia,
Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands,
Romania, and Sweden all have less than 15 percent of their workers
covered by occupational licensing (Koumenta et al. 2014).
Regulation is much more prevalent in other countries, however:
at least 25 percent of the workforce in Denmark and Germany, for
example, is regulated, and rates are also high in Italy and Spain.
Reforming Occupational Licensing Policies
Morris M. Kleiner (2015)
"We also find evidence that intra-EU migrants are less likely to be found in regulated occupations."
Occupational Regulation in the EU andUK: Prevalence and Labour Market Impacts
Koumenta, Humphris, Kleiner, and Pagliero (2014)
This channel disproportionately benefits richer and more skilled workers (at least in the USA)
[L]icensing can shift resources from workers with lower-income and
fewer skills to those with higher income and skills. Data show
that 52 percent of licensed workers hold a Bachelor’s degree,
compared to 38 percent of unlicensed workers. Lower-income
workers are less likely to be able to afford the tuition
and lost wages associated with licensing’s educational
requirements, closing the door to many licensed jobs for them. It is
also lower-income workers who are hurt if wages fall in unlicensed
jobs, since on average, unlicensed workers earn 28 percent less than
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING:A FRAMEWORK FOR POLICYMAKERS (USA (2015))