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The effects of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry: a panel analysis

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  • Kris Gerardi
  • Adam Hale Shapiro

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of market structure on price dispersion in the airline industry, using panel data from 1993 through 2006. The results found in this paper contrast with those of Borenstein and Rose (1994), who found that price dispersion increases with competition. We find that competition has a negative effect on price dispersion, in line with the textbook treatment of price discrimination. Specifically, the effects of competition on price dispersion are most significant on routes that we identify as having consumers characterized by relatively heterogeneous elasticities of demand. On routes with a more homogenous customer base, the effects of competition on price discrimination are largely insignificant. We conclude from these results that competition acts to erode the ability of a carrier to price discriminate, resulting in reduced overall price dispersion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 07-7.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:07-7

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Related research

Keywords: Airlines ; Price discrimination;

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References

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  1. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2004. "How Do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," Working Papers 04-04, NET Institute, revised Dec 2004.
  2. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  3. Severin Borenstein & Nancy L. Rose, 1995. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," NBER Working Papers 3785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Prescott, Edward C, 1975. "Efficiency of the Natural Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1229-36, December.
  5. repec:att:wimass:9214 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
  7. Brueckner, Jan K. & Spiller, Pablo T., 1991. "Competition and mergers in airline networks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 323-342, September.
  8. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
  9. Eden, Benjamin, 1990. "Marginal Cost Pricing When Spot Markets Are Complete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1293-1306, December.
  10. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1995. "Bankruptcy and Pricing Behavior in U.S. Airline Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 397-402, May.
  11. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1993. "Localized Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 66-75, February.
  12. Lott, John R, Jr & Roberts, Russell D, 1991. "A Guide to the Pitfalls of Identifying Price Discrimination," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 14-23, January.
  13. Berry, Steven T, 1990. "Airport Presence as Product Differentiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 394-99, May.
  14. Kathy J. Hayes & Leola B. Ross, 1998. "Is Airline Price Dispersion the Result of Careful Planning or Competitive Forces?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 523-541, October.
  15. Joanna Stavins, 1996. "Price discrimination in the airline market: the effect of market concentration," Working Papers 96-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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Cited by:
  1. Obermeyer, Andy & Evangelinos, Christos & Püschel, Ronny, 2013. "Price dispersion and competition in European airline markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 31-34.
  2. Fabricio Coricelli & Roman Horváth, 2008. "Price Setting and Market Structure: An Empirical Analysis of Micro Data," Working Papers IES 2008/23, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2008.
  3. Ron Borzekowski & Raphael Thomadsen & Charles Taragin, 2005. "Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Evangelinos, Christos & Obermeyer, Andy & Püschel, Ronny, 2011. "Preisdispersion und Wettbewerb im Luftverkehr: Ein theoretischer und empirischer Überblick," Discussion Papers 2/2011, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Sciences "Friedrich List", Institute for Transport and Economics.
  5. Jan Babecky & Fabrizio Coricelli & Roman Horvath, 2008. "Assessing Inflation Persistence: Micro Evidence on an Inflation Targeting Economy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp353, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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