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1 Departure of a firm from an industry. This will normally occur if a firm is making losses and sees no prospect that the market will recover. Employment protection legislation or other public regulations may hinder a firm wishing to discontinue part of its business while continuing to trade. If a firm is insolvent there is nothing the law can do to prevent it from exiting entirely from the economy, unless the government is willing to carry on the business at the taxpayer's expense. Where an enterprise is actually profitable but the firm owning it is not, due to excessive debt charges, the firm will normally exit but the enterprise will continue under new ownership.

2 The expression of preferences by leaving unsatisfactory situations: this can apply to selling shares, changing jobs, or migration between areas or countries. It is contrasted with ‘voice’, which is attempting to change the situation one is in by voting, lobbying, or use of complaints procedures or litigation.

Subjects: Economics.

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