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Economics of Strategy

Fifth Edition
Slides by: Richard Ponarul, California State University, Chico
Copyright 2010 John Wiley Sons, Inc.
Chapter 11

Entry and Exit
Besanko, Dranove, Shanley, and Schaefer
Entrants are firms that produce and sell in
new markets
Entry threaten incumbents in two ways.
The market share of the incumbents is reduced
Price competition is intensified

Forms of Entry
Entry could take place in different forms
An entrant may be a brand new firm
An entrant may also be an established firm that is
diversifying into a new product/market
The form of entry is important for analyzing
the costs of entry and the strategic response
by incumbents
Forms of Exit
A firm may simply fold up (PanAm)
A firm may discontinue a particular product
or product group (Sega leaves the video
game hardware market
A firm may leave a particular geographic
market segment (Peugeot leaves the U. S.
Evidence on Entry and Exit
Dunne, Roberts and Samuelson (DRS) studied
entry and exit in U. S. industries. They find that:
Entry and exit are pervasive in the U.S.
Entrants (exiters) are smaller than incumbents
Most entrants fail quickly and the ones that dont grow
The rates of entry and exit vary from industry to industry.
DRS Findings on Entry and Exit
Over a five year horizon, a typical industry
experienced 30 to 40 percent turnover
About half the entrants were diversified firms and
the rest were greenfield entrants (new firms).
About 40% of the exiters were diversified firms
that continued to operate in other markets.
Conditions in an industry that encouraged entry
also fostered exit
DRS Findings on Entry and Exit
Unlike new entrants, diversifying firms built plants
on the same scale as incumbents.
The size of the exiters is about one third of the
average firms.
Within 10 years of entry 60% of the entrants leave
the industry. The survivors double in size over the
same horizon.
Implication of DRS Findings for Strategy
As part of planning for the future, managers
should account for the unknown future
Diversifying firms pose a greater threat to
the incumbents since they tend to build
bigger plants than other entrants

Implication of DRS Findings for Strategy
Managers of new firms need to find capital
for growth since survival and growth go
hand in hand
Managers should be aware of the entry and
exit conditions of the industry and how
these conditions change over time.
Cost Benefit Analysis for Entry
A potential entrant compares the sunk cost of entry
with the present value of the post-entry profit
Sunk costs of entry range from investment in
specialized assets to obtaining government licenses
Post-entry profits will depend on demand and cost
conditions as well as post-entry competition
Barriers to Entry
Barriers to entry are factors that
allow the incumbents to earn economic profit while
making it unprofitable for the new firms to enter the
Barriers to entry can be classified into
structural barriers (natural advantages) and
strategic barriers (incumbents actions to deter entry).

Structural Barriers to Entry
Structural barriers to entry exist when:
incumbents have cost advantages
incumbent have marketing advantages
incumbents are protected by favorable
government policy and regulations
Strategic Barriers to Entry
Incumbents can erect strategic barriers by
expanding capacity
resorting to limit pricing and
resorting to predatory pricing

Typology of Entry Conditions (Bain)
Markets can be characterized by whether
the existing barriers to entry are structural or strategic
entry deterring strategies are feasible
Three possible entry conditions of a market
Blockaded entry
Accommodated entry
Deterred entry
Blockaded Entry
Entry is considered blockaded when the incumbent
does not need to take any action to deter entry
Existing structural barriers are effective in
deterring entry
Accommodated Entry
With accommodated entry, the incumbents
should not bother to deter entry
This condition is typical of markets with growing
demand or rapid technological change
Structural barriers may be low and strategic
barriers may be ineffective or not cost effective

Deterred Entry
Entry is not blockaded
Entry deterring strategies are effective in
discouraging potential rivals and are cost
Deterred entry is the only condition under
which the incumbents should engage in
predatory acts
Asymmetry between Incumbents and Entrants
What is sunk cost for incumbents is
incremental cost for the entrants
Established relationships with customers
and suppliers are not easy to replicate
Learning curve effects
Switching costs for the customers
Types of Structural Barriers
The three main types of structural barriers to
entry are:
control of essential resources by the incumbent
economies of scale and scope
marketing advantage of incumbency
Control of Essential Resources
Nature may limit the sources of certain
inputs and the incumbents may be in control
of these limited sources
Patents can prevent rivals from imitating a
firms products
Special know-how that is hard for the rivals
to replicate may be zealously guarded by the
Economies of Scale and Scope
If economies of scale are significant,
potential may face cost disadvantages.
Incumbents strategic reaction to entry may
be to further lower price and cut into
entrants profits.
If entrant succeeds, intense price
competition may ensue.
Economies of Scale and Scope
Entrants can face cost disadvantages due to
economies of scope.
Economies of scope in production exist when
multiple product lines are produced in the same
Economies of scope in marketing are due to the
upfront cost of achieving brand awareness by
Economies of Scale may be a Barrier to Entry
Marketing Advantage of Incumbency
Incumbent can exploit the brand umbrella to
introduce new products more easily than
new entrants can.
The brand umbrella can make it easy for the
incumbent to negotiate the vertical channel
(Example: It is easier to get shelf space with
an established brand)
Marketing Advantage of Incumbency
Exploitation of the brand name and
reputation is not risk-free.
If the new product is unsatisfactory,
customer dissatisfaction may harm the
image of the existing products.
Barriers to Exit
= the minimum price that will induce a
firm to enter an industry
= the minimum price that will induce an
incumbent firm to stay in an industry
> P
Exit barriers drive a wedge between P

and P
Exit .

Barriers to Exit
Sunk costs make the marginal cost of staying
Obligations and commitments to suppliers
and employees are sunk costs as well.
Relationship specific assets may have low
resale value.
Government regulations can also be a
barrier to exit.
Prices that Induce Entry and Exit may Differ
Entry Deterring Strategies
Some examples of entry deterring strategies are
limit pricing, predatory pricing and capacity
For these strategies to work
Incumbent must earn higher profits as a monopolist than
as a duopolist and
The strategy should change the entrants expectations
regarding post-entry competition

Contestable Markets & Entry Deterrence
If there is a possibility of a hit and run entry (zero
sunk cost) the market is contestable.
In a perfectly contestable market, a monopolist
sets the price at competitive levels
If the market is contestable, it is not worth the
monopolists while to adopt entry deterring
Limit Pricing
An incumbent using the limit pricing
strategy will set the price sufficiently low to
discourage entrants
Two forms of limit pricing
Contestable limit pricing
Strategic limit pricing
Contestable Limit Pricing
Incumbent has excess capacity and can set prices
below entrants marginal cost
Incumbent can meet the market demand at the low
Strategic Limit Pricing
Entrant has limited capacity or rising marginal costs
Limit pricing may mean sacrifice of profits or
inability to meet market demand
Low price can be an entry deterrent if entrant infers
that post entry price will be low.
Price & Profits under Different Competitive Conditions
Is Limit Pricing Rational?
When multiple periods are considered, the
incumbent has to set the price low in each period
to deter entry in the following period.
The incumbent may be better off being a Cournot
duopolist than limit pricing forever as a
Is Limit Pricing Rational?
Even in a two period setting, limit pricing
equilibrium is not subgame perfect.
Potential entrants can rationally anticipate
that the post-entry price will not be less than
the Cournot equilibrium price.
Limit Pricing: Extensive Form Game
Predatory Pricing
Predatory pricing involves setting the price
below short run marginal cost with the
expectation of recouping the losses via
monopoly profits once the rival exits
Predatory pricing is directed at entrants who
have already entered while limit pricing is
directed at potential entrants.
Is Predatory Pricing Rational?
If all the entrants can perfectly foresee the future
course of incumbents pricing, predatory pricing
will not work.
The chain store paradox: Many firms are
commonly perceived to engage in predatory
pricing even when it is irrational to expect
predatory pricing to deter entry.
Is Predatory Pricing Rational?
Simple economic models indicate that
predatory pricing is irrational
Either the firms pricing strategies are
irrational or the models are incomplete.
Game theoretic models that include
uncertainty and information asymmetry
show that predation can be a rational
Situations Where Limit Pricing & Predation are
Incumbent wants the entrant to lower its
expectations for post entry price
Entrant lacks information about incumbents
Incumbents pricing strategy can alter
entrants expectation when there is
asymmetric information.
Limit Pricing and Dual Uncertainty
In Garth Saloner's model, entrant is uncertain about
incumbents cost as well as the level of demand.
Incumbent prices below the monopoly price
regardless of cost.
Entrant infers that either the demand is low or the
incumbents cost is low.
In either case entry is deterred
Predatory Pricing and Reputation
Predatory pricing can deter entry when the
incumbent seeks a reputation for
If the incumbent does not slash prices,
other challengers may consider him easy
rather than tough
Predatory Pricing and Reputation
An incumbent can be tough
either due to low costs
or due to an irrational desire for market share
or because there is other competition entrant is
unaware of.
By slashing prices entrant is made to believe
that the incumbent is tough.

Predatory Pricing and Reputation
Some well known firms enjoy a reputation
for toughness after their rivals disappear.
Some aggressive strategies to seek market
Announce market share goals
Reward for managers based on market share
rather than profits

Excess Capacity
For U. S. manufacturers average capacity
use is about 80%.
When capacity addition has to be lumpy,
firms may often have excess capacity in
anticipation of future growth
A temporary down turn in demand may
leave the firms in an industry with excess
capacity with no strategic overtones
Excess Capacity and Entry Deterrence
By holding excess capacity, the incumbent
can credibly threaten to lower the price if
entry occurs.
An incumbent with excess capacity can
expand output at a low cost.
Entry deterrence will occur even when the
entrant as informed as the incumbent.
Excess Capacity and Entry Deterrence
Excess capacity works to deter entry when
incumbent has a sustainable cost advantage,
market demand growth is slow,
incumbent cannot back-off from the investment
in excess capacity and
entrant is not the type trying to establish a
reputation for toughness.
Entrants Strategy: Judo Economics
Use opponents strength to ones advantage.
Entrant discourages the incumbent from
entry deterrence strategies by appearing to
be a non-threat in the long term
Incurring large losses may not appear
worthwhile to the incumbent.
War of Attrition
Predatory pricing strategy can degenerate
into a war of attrition.
If no one leaves in the early stages, a
prolonged price war can be bad for all the
firms in the industry.
Even the winner may be worse off compared
to not having had the price war at all.

Winning the War of Attrition
The more a firm believes it can outlast its
rivals, the more willing it to stay in the price
A firm that faces exit barriers is well
positioned to engage in a price war.
A firm can also try to convince its rivals that
it can outlast them (For example, by
claiming to be money even during the price
Entry Deterring Strategies
Aggressive price reductions to move down
the learning curve
Intensive advertising to create brand loyalty
Acquiring patents
Enhancing reputation for predation
Limit pricing
Holding excess capacity
Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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