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Barriers To Entry

  • Dennis W. Carlton

This paper analyzes the concept of barriers to entry. It explains that the concept is a static one and explores the inadequacy of the concept in a world with sunk costs, adjustment costs and uncertainty. The static concept addresses the question of whether profits are excessive. The more interesting and relevant question is how fast entry or exit will erode profits or losses and how do the bounds that entry and exit place on price vary with uncertainty and sunk cost. Intuition based on the static concept of barrier to entry can be misleading in many industries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11645.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11645
Note: IO
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  1. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  2. Ariel Pakes & Michael Ostrovsky & Steve Berry, 2004. "Simple Estimators for the Parameters of Discrete Dynamic Games (with Entry/Exit Examples)," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2036, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Pindyck, Robert S., 2005. "Sunk Costs and Real Options in Antitrust," Working papers 18233, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474, March.
  5. Rchard Schmalensee, 2004. "Sunk Costs and Antitrust Barriers to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 471-475, May.
  6. Weitzman, Martin L, 1983. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 486-87, June.
  7. repec:reg:rpubli:237 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  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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