Productivity Commission – Draft Report
Business Set -up, Transfer and Closure.

Background

Firm entry and exit plays an important role in fostering innovation, competition, and thereby driving productivity and economic growth. Competition from new firms, or even the threat of potential entry, forces existing firms to be more efficient. The exit of inefficient firms can provide for greater allocative efficiency as their former resources can be put to higher value uses.

Certain barriers to entry and exit have the potential to hinder the efficient operation of markets, with negative consequences for economic growth. Barriers to entry and exit can be a function of market structure, government regulation, industry specific sunk costs or geography. Cultural appetite for risk is also an important determinant of the level of business entry and exit in an economy.

Business insolvency also results in losses to equity and debt holders, and to employees. Different approaches to managing insolvency can affect the efficient provision of finance and labour.

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