Regulatory Barriers to Entry in Industrial Sectors
The entry of new competitors operates as a balancing force against high levels of industrial concentration and the abuse of dominant position by firms with large market shares. Entry increases supply, lowers prices, intensifies innovation and brings equilibrium to the markets that don’t operate in a socially desirable manner. This paper examines the impact of regulatory restrictions to the entry of new competitors in industrial sectors. It provides a short description of the 13 most important sources of regulatory barriers and assesses their role and importance as entry barriers. The conclusion is that regulatory restrictions can be a very important, almost insurmountable barrier to the entry of new competitors, but their role is not always socially harmful. The use of certain sources of regulatory barriers is effective in protecting social welfare instead of harming it. Barriers that promote new competition or are applied in order to protect consumer welfare are socially useful, while barriers that restrict competition and limit new competitor entry, in cases other than natural monopolies, are socially harmful.
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