We survey the empirical literature analyzing the consequences of entry regulation in retail industries. We begin by providing some background on the most common forms of entry regulation and their rationales. We use Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data to show evidence of a general trend towards less stringent entry regulation in the past 15 years. However, substantial heterogeneity persists across countries. Next, we review a number of empirical contributions that analyze the effects of entry regulation on market outcomes. We compare studies relying on quasi-experimental variation in regulation to those based on structural models and comment on strengths and challenges of each approach. We summarize the results obtained by the literature with respect several important outcomes that entry regulation can be expected to affect, such as market structure, entry, productivity and employment. We conclude presenting a few relevant topics that the literature has yet to address and, therefore, represent promising avenues for future research.
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