NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Barriers To Entry

Dennis W. Carlton

NBER Working Paper No. 11645
Issued in October 2005
NBER Program(s):   IO

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11645

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