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Regulation of Entry and the Distortion of Industrial Organization


  • Raymond Fisman
  • Virginia Sarria-Allende


We study the distortions to industrial organization caused by entry regulation. We take advantage of heterogeneity across industries in their natural barriers and growth opportunities to examine whether some industries are differentially affected by country-level entry regulation. In industries with high natural entry barriers, entry regulation has little impact on the quantity and average size of firms in an industry. By contrast, in industries with low natural entry barriers, countries with high entry regulation have relatively few, large firms. We find no relation between natural entry barriers and overall industry share of manufacturing, as a function of entry regulation. Utilizing firm-level data, we show that operating margins are relatively high in low barrier industries in high entry regulation countries. Finally, we analyze the ability of industries to take advantage of shocks to growth opportunities. In countries with high entry regulation, industries respond to growth opportunities through the expansion of existing firms, while in countries with low entry regulation, the response is through the creation of new firms; the total sectoral response is invariant to the level of regulation. Our results suggest that regulation distorts the structure of industry, promoting industry concentration, but does not have measurable effects on intersectoral allocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Fisman & Virginia Sarria-Allende, 2004. "Regulation of Entry and the Distortion of Industrial Organization," NBER Working Papers 10929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10929
    Note: CF

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 595-619, December.
    2. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1369-1413.
    4. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1989. "Variation In Producer Turnover Across U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 12-89-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    5. Raymond Fisman & Inessa Love, 2007. "Financial Dependence and Growth Revisited," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 470-479, 04-05.
    6. 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.
    7. Raymond Fisman & Inessa Love, 2003. "Financial Development and the Composition of Industrial Growth," NBER Working Papers 9583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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