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I have been trying to understand what makes something a barrier to entry in precise terms. I ideally would like some kind of "theory of barriers to entry." Not just examples, which are easy to find, but rather key characteristics that makes something a barrier to entry.

Does such a thing exist? If so, who are some example authors that I could read who target this issue?

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Analysis of strategic advantage using a Venn diagram (short video):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl5cyZlay4k

Short summary article of Competition Demystified by Greenwald and Kahn (barriers to entry create competitive advantage for managers and investors):

https://medium.com/@dlishego/review-of-competition-demystified-91f9921f42c4

Barriers to entry consist of supply advantages, demand advantages, and economies of scale.

Short video criticism of Porter's Five Forces - Competition Demystified:

https://youtu.be/F2mTS6AaFxY

Short video summary of Competition Demystified:

https://youtu.be/l0gB19stVIM?list=RDCMUCzRF-OFuv8os-bGzANpQGqg

Intangible (intellectual) property law, for example, erects legal barriers to entry for a proprietary product or service. If there are no barriers to entry then competitors enter the market easily to compete on price and volume and erode the advantage.

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