We can carry out a simple computation to give us a rough idea of the value of some barrier to entry such as a taxi medallion or liquor license in a case where the barrier can be legally sold to a new owner at any time.

    Such an asset has an infinite lifetime, or we can assume it does. Businesses don't die a natural death after a certain period of time, in principle they can exist indefinitely. So, we can compare such a license to any other perpetual asset which generates regular income, such as a savings account, a certificate of deposit, or some types of bonds.

    Suppose you believe that a taxi medallion would allow you to earn $10,000 profit each year for as long as you own the medallion, again by profit we mean income over what you could earn in your next best alternative. So if the best job you were offered paid $20,000 per year you would expect to earn a salary of $30,000 per year driving a cab, $20,000 in forgone income + $10,000 profit.

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