Cronyism undermines markets in several ways. It increases the costs of doing business for firms excluded from inner, "favored" circles. It encourages firms to spend more on cultivating political ties and less on innovation. It allows regulators and policymakers to benefit privately from relationships with certain firms. Reducing the inequality in influence between the most-powerful and least-powerful firms—the "influence gap"—can limit the harmful effects of cronyism. This can be done through support for greater public accountability, anti-monopoly enforcement, and more inclusive consultation mechanisms.