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Entry and competition in the Dutch notary profession

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  • Noailly, Joëlle
  • Nahuis, Richard

Abstract

We investigate changes in competition in the Dutch notary profession after a partial deregulation of the market for notary services enforced by the 1999 Dutch Notary Act. This reform liberalized prices and relieved many entry barriers in the profession, while keeping the professional standard in place. We use the concept of entry thresholds developed by Bresnahan and Reiss (1991) to infer on the effect of entry on competition before and after the regulatory reform. We find that entry affects conduct in the Dutch notary profession as a second notary office in a market requires a much larger market size than a monopoly office to be profitable, suggesting that profit margins drop with entry. Yet, we find no significant differences between entry thresholds ratios before and after the regulatory reform. We discuss potential explanations for the sluggishness of entry in the profession and implications for policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 178-185

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:30:y:2010:i:2:p:178-185

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

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Keywords: Legal services Competition Deregulation Entry;

References

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  1. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 531-53, October.
  2. Jean Marie Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B Vogt, 2003. "Entry and Competition in Local Hospital Markets," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/088, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Richard A. Posner, 1974. "Theories of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(2), pages 335-358, Autumn.
  4. Schaumans, Catherine & Verboven, Frank, 2006. "Entry and Regulation - Evidence from Health Care Professions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Domberger, Simon & Sherr, Avrom, 1989. "The impact of competition on pricing and quality of legal services," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 41-56, June.
  6. Lueck, Dean & Olsen, Reed & Ransom, Michael, 1995. "Market and Regulatory Forces in the Pricing of Legal Services," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 63-83, January.
  7. Pfann, Gerard A & van Kranenburg, Hans, 2003. "Tax Policy, Location Choices, and Market Structure," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 61-83, April.
  8. Richard Nahuis & Joëlle Noailly, 2005. "Competition and quality in the notary profession," CPB Document 94, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  9. David Dranove & Mark Shanley & Carol Simon, 1992. "Is Hospital Competition Wasteful?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 247-262, Summer.
  10. Nicola Cetorelli, 2002. "Entry and competition in highly concentrated banking markets," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 18-27.
  11. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  12. Noll, Roger G., 1989. "Economic perspectives on the politics of regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1253-1287 Elsevier.
  13. Asplund, Marcus & Sandin, Rickard, 1999. "The Number of Firms and Production Capacity in Relation to Market Size," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 69-85, March.
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