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Oligopoly dynamics with barriers to entry


  • Jaap H. Abbring
  • Jeffrey R. Campbell


This paper considers the effects of raising the cost of entry for potential competitors on infinite-horizon Markov- perfect industry dynamics with ongoing demand uncertainty. All entrants serving the model industry incur sunk costs, and exit avoids future fixed costs. We focus on the unique equilibrium with last- in first-out expectations: a firm never exits before a younger rival does. When an industry can support at most two firms, we prove that raising barriers to a second producer’s entry increases the probability that some firm will serve the industry and decreases its long-run entry and exit rates. In numerical examples with more than two firms, imposing a barrier to entry stabilizes industry structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaap H. Abbring & Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2006. "Oligopoly dynamics with barriers to entry," Working Paper Series WP-06-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-06-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fishman, Arthur & Rob, Rafael, 2003. "Consumer inertia, firm growth and industry dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 24-38, March.
    2. Dennis W. Carlton, 2004. "Why Barriers to Entry Are Barriers to Understanding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 466-470, May.
    3. Jaap H. Abbring & Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2010. "Last-In First-Out Oligopoly Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1491-1527, September.
    4. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, March.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    6. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2011. "Competition in large markets," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1113-1136, November.
    7. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Preston R. Fee & Hugo M. Mialon & Michael A. Williams, 2004. "What Is a Barrier to Entry?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 461-465, May.
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