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Strategic Deterrence of Sequential Entry into an Industry


  • B. Douglas Bernheim


Industrial entry deterrence is typically studied in a setting where an established firm or firms confront and attempt to deter a single potential competitor. During the evolution of most industries, however, a sequence of firms enters (or attempts to enter) at distinct points in time. Consideration of issues arising from sequential entry fundamentally alters the qualitative nature of the deterrence decision undertaken by incumbent firms. Within a sequential setting, counterintuitive behavior may be observed. Specifically, numerous government policies designed to decrease industrial concentration (penalties for anticompetitive practices, subsidization of entry, consent decrees, restructuring industries) may have the opposite effect.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim, 1984. "Strategic Deterrence of Sequential Entry into an Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 1-11, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:15:y:1984:i:spring:p:1-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    2. Faulhaber, Gerald R, 1975. "Cross-Subsidization: Pricing in Public Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 966-977, December.
    3. Sharkey, William W. & Telser, Lester G., 1978. "Supportable cost functions for the multiproduct firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-37, June.
    4. Mirman, Leonard J. & Tauman, Yair & Zang, Israel, 1986. "Ramsey prices, average cost prices and price sustainability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 123-140, June.
    5. ten Raa, Thijs, 1983. "Supportability and anonymous equity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 176-181, October.
    6. John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Free Entry and the Sustainability of Natural Monopoly," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    7. William W. Sharkey, 1981. "Existence of Sustainable Prices for Natural Monopoly Outputs," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 144-154, Spring.
    8. Faulhaber, Gerald R & Levinson, Stephen B, 1981. "Subsidy-Free Prices and Anonymous Equity [Cross-Subsidization: Pricing in Public Enterprises]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1083-1091, December.
    9. Baumol, William J & Bailey, Elizabeth E & Willig, Robert D, 1977. "Weak Invisible Hand Theorems on the Sustainability of Multiproduct Natural Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 350-365, June.
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