Is Failure Good?
Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 26, No. 7, July 2005
42 Pages Posted: 15 May 2006
Approximately 80-90 percent of new firms ultimately fail. The tendency is to think of this failure as wasteful. We, however, examine whether there are economic benefits to offset the waste. We characterize three potential mechanisms through which excess entry affects market structure, firm behavior, and efficiency, then test them in the banking industry. Results indicate that failed firms generate externalities that significantly and substantially reduce industry cost. On average these benefits exceed the private costs of the entrants. Thus failure appears to be good for the economy.
Keywords: entry, efficiency, spillovers, selection, competition, failure
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