I have a piece in the upcoming issue of The Cato Journal on "Occupational Licensing and Asymmetric Information: Post-Hurricane Evidence from Florida." Here's the abstract:
Licensing is typically justified on the grounds that market mechanisms will not mitigate the problems associated with asymmetric information. In the wake of Hurricanes Frances and Katrina, Florida reduced restrictions on construction contractors, yet in times of crises informational asymmetries are more likely to be problematic. I find that volume of construction work completed increased during this period, indicating that asymmetric information didn't stifle the market. Given the relative success of reducing restrictions and the government's explicit recognition of licensing's limiting effect on the availability of roofers, reform of licensing, at least to the extent done in crisis, should be adopted permanently.