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Limited Access to Airport Facilities and Market Power in the Airline Industry

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  • Federico Ciliberto
  • Jonathan W. Williams

Abstract

We investigate the role of limited access to airport facilities as a determinant of the hub premium in the U.S. airline industry. We use original data from competition plans that airports are required to submit to the U.S. Department of Transportation in compliance with the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the Twenty-First Century. We collect information on the availability and control of airport gates, leasing arrangements, and other restrictions limiting the expansion of airport facilities. We find that the hub premium is increasing in the ticket fare. We find that control of gates is a crucial determinant of this premium. Limits on the fees that airlines can charge for subleasing their gates lower the prices charged by airlines. Finally, control of gates and restrictions on sublease fees explain high fares only when there is a scarcity of gates relative to the number of departures from an airport.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 467 - 495

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/605725

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  1. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
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  8. Preston R. Fee & Hugo M. Mialon & Michael A. Williams, 2004. "What Is a Barrier to Entry?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 461-465, May.
  9. Darin Lee & María José Luengo-Prado, 2005. "The Impact of Passenger Mix on Reported “Hub Premiums” in the U.S. Airline Industry," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372–394, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Hüschelrath, Kai & Müller, Kathrin & Bilotkach, Volodymyr, 2011. "The construction of a low cost airline network," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-052, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
  3. Ciliberto, Federico & Schenone, Carola, 2010. "Bankruptcy and Product-Market Competition: Evidence from the Airline Industry," MPRA Paper 24914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Lakew, Paulos Ashebir, 2014. "On sources of market power in the airline industry: Panel data evidence from the US airports," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 288-305.
  5. Gabriel Desgranges & Stéphane Gauthier, 2014. "Rationalizability and Efficiency in an Asymmetric Cournot Oligopoly," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00975002, HAL.
  6. Ciliberto, Federico & Zhang, Zhou, 2014. "Multiple Equilibria and Deterrence in Airline Markets," MPRA Paper 53232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Zhang, Shengrun & Derudder, Ben & Witlox, Frank, 2013. "The impact of hub hierarchy and market competition on airfare pricing in US hub-to-hub markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 65-70.
  8. Ciliberto, Federico & Williams, Jonathan, 2010. "Does Multimarket Contact Facilitate Tacit Collusion? Inference on Conjectural Parameters in the Airline Industry," MPRA Paper 24888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Gabriel Desgranges & Stéphane Gauthier, 2014. "Rationalizability and Efficiency in an Asymmetric Cournot Oligopoly," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14028, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  10. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Mueller, Juergen & Németh, Adél, 2014. "Estimating the consumer welfare effects of de-hubbing: The case of Malév Hungarian Airlines," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 51-65.

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