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Infant-Industry Protection Reconsidered: The Case of Informational Barriers to Entry

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Henrik Horn

Abstract

In industries with imperfect consumer information, the lack of a reputation puts latecomers at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis established firms. We consider whether the existence of such informational barriers to entry provides a valid reason for temporarily protecting infant producers of experience goods and services. Our model incorporates both moral hazard in an individual firm's choice of quality and adverse selection among potential entrants into the industry. We find that infant-industry protection often exacerbates the welfare loss associated with these market imperfections.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman & Henrik Horn, 1987. "Infant-Industry Protection Reconsidered: The Case of Informational Barriers to Entry," NBER Working Papers 2159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2159
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    1. S. Clemhout & H. Y. Wan, 1970. "Learning-by-Doing and Infant Industry Protection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 33-56.
    2. Bagwell, Kyle, 1990. "Informational product differentiation as a barrier to entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 207-223, June.
    3. Schmalensee, Richard, 1982. "Product Differentiation Advantages of Pioneering Brands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 349-365, June.
    4. Joseph Farrell, 1986. "Moral Hazard as an Entry Barrier," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 440-449, Autumn.
    5. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    6. Wolfgang Mayer, 1984. "The Infant-Export Industry Argument," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 249-269, May.
    7. Franklin Allen, 1984. "Reputation and Product Quality," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 311-327, Autumn.
    8. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
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