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Does State Antitrust Enforcement Drive Establishment Exit?


  • Robert M. Feinberg
  • Thomas A. Husted
  • Florian Szücs


Previous work has shown that state-level antitrust enforcement activity may have impacts on entry and relocation behavior by U.S. firms. Significant state-level antitrust activity may be an indicator of a perceived adverse business environment and it is found to deter establishment entry, particularly for larger firms in the retail and wholesale sectors. An obvious question is whether establishment exit is affected in a symmetric way, or whether sunk costs of market entry may lead to a smaller impact in terms of the exit decisions. We first combine US Census establishment exit panel data with data for 1998-2006 on US state-level antitrust activity and other measures of state-level business activities that may affect establishment exit. We also consider establishment exit across different broad industry types -- manufacturing, retail and wholesale -- and several firm size categories. Local business cycle factors seem to be the primary driver of exit, though there is some evidence of political and antitrust determinants as well. In another approach, we examine firmlevel exit decisions and the extent to which these respond to state antitrust enforcement, with some indication of antitrust enforcement effects here as well, especially in the wholesale and retail sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert M. Feinberg & Thomas A. Husted & Florian Szücs, 2013. "Does State Antitrust Enforcement Drive Establishment Exit?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1323, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1323

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guido Buenstorf, 2007. "Evolution on the Shoulders of Giants: Entrepreneurship and Firm Survival in the German Laser Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 30(3), pages 179-202, May.
    2. Robert M Feinberg, 2013. "International Competition and Small-Firm Exit in US Manufacturing," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 402-414.
    3. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
    4. Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan, "undated". "Tax Policy and Firm Entry and Exit Dynamics: Evidence from OECD Countries," Discussion Papers 11/08, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    5. Feinberg, Robert M, 1980. "Antitrust Enforcement and Subsequent Price Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 609-612, November.
    6. David Audretsch, 1994. "Business Survival and the Decision to Exit," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 125-137.
    7. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    8. Vinod Sutaria & Donald A. Hicks, 2004. "New firm formation: Dynamics and determinants," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(2), pages 241-262, June.
    9. repec:oup:jcomle:v:7:y:2011:i:4:p:813-823. is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    antitrust enforcement; state level; firm exit;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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