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Entry Barriers in Retail Trade

  • Fabiano Schivardi
  • Eliana Viviano

The 1998 reform of the Italian retail trade sector delegated the regulation of entry of large stores to the regional governments. We use the local variation in regulation to determine the effects of entry barriers on sectoral performance. We address the endogeneity of entry barriers through local fixed effects and using political variables as instruments. We also control for differences in trends and for area-wide shocks. We find that entry barriers are associated with substantially larger profit margins and lower productivity of incumbent firms. Liberalising entry has a positive effect on investment in ICT, increases employment and compresses labour costs in large shops. In areas with more stringent entry regulation, lower productivity coupled with larger margins results in higher consumer prices.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
Issue (Month): 551 (March)
Pages: 145-170

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:551:p:145-170
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  1. Richard, Blundell & Rachel, Griffith & Peter, Howitt & Susanne, Prantl & Aghion, Philippe, 2009. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 4554222, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  17. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram, 2006. "Entry regulation as a barrier to entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 591-629, December.
  18. Silvia Fabiani & Fabiano Schivardi & Sandro Trento, 2005. "ICT adoption in Italian manufacturing: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 225-249, April.
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