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Markets: The U.S. Lodging Industry

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  • Arturs Kalnins
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    Abstract

    The U.S. lodging industry appears highly competitive. Ownership concentration appears to be low. Fixed costs are high relative to variable costs and unused rooms cannot be stored for future sale, so price-cutting should be attractive. However, this paper argues that, unexpectedly, oligopolistic market structures in many local lodging markets, combined with behavioral norms of cooperation, sustain profits in what might otherwise be an industry of cutthroat competition. I describe the patterns of competition and cooperation in the U.S. lodging industry, summarizing theoretical arguments, empirical research, descriptive statistics from industry and government sources, and anecdotal evidence from the trade press and from interviews conducted with managers of over 200 properties nationwide.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.20.4.203
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
    Pages: 203-218

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:20:y:2006:i:4:p:203-218

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.20.4.203
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    References

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    1. Heywood T. Sanders, 2002. "Convention Myths and Markets: A Critical Review of Convention Center Feasibility Studies," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 16(3), pages 195-210, August.
    2. Bonanno, Giacomo & Vickers, John, 1988. "Vertical Separation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 257-65, March.
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    6. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 329-43, March.
    7. Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Product Choice and Oligopoly Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 221-242, Summer.
    8. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    9. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    10. Mark Granovetter, 2005. "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 33-50, Winter.
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    12. Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 1979. "The Strategic Role of Information on the Demand Function in an Oligopolistic Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(3), pages 243-250, March.
    13. Francine Lafontaine, 1995. "Pricing Decisions in Franchised Chains: A Look at the Restaurant and Fast-Food Industry," NBER Working Papers 5247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
    15. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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    17. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mitsuru Sunada, 2012. "Competition among movie theaters: an empirical investigation of the Toho–Subaru antitrust case," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 179-206, August.
    2. Darlene Chisholm & George Norman, 2012. "Spatial competition and market share: an application to motion pictures," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 207-225, August.

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