The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Barriers to Entry

  • Luís M. B. Cabral
Reference work entry


The precise definition of barriers to entry is controversial; different versions have been proposed over the years. The issue is not one of pure semantics, since evidence of barriers to entry plays an important role in merger review and other areas of antitrust policy. One definition that seems to reflect current thought and practice is as follows: barriers to entry are structural, institutional and behavioural conditions that allow established firms to earn economic profits for a significant length of time.


Absolute cost advantage Antitrust Asymmetric information Barriers to entry Collusion Contracts as barriers to entry Excess capacity Game theory Limit pricing Merger analysis Oligopolistic competition Patents Predatory pricing Product differentiation Scale economies Sunk costs 

JEL Classification

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís M. B. Cabral
    • 1
  1. 1.