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Price Dispersion under Costly Capacity and Demand Uncertainty

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  • Diego Escobari
  • Li Gan

Abstract

This paper tests the empirical importance of the price dispersion predictions of the Prescott-Eden-Dana (PED) models. Equilibrium price dispersion is derived in a setting with costly capacity and demand uncertainty where different fares can be explained by the different selling probabilities. The PED models predict that a lower selling probability leads to a higher price. Moreover, this effect is larger in more competitive markets. Despite its applications to several important market phenomena, there exists little empirical evidence supporting the PED models, mostly because of the difficulty of coming up with an appropriate measure of the selling probabilities. Using a unique panel of U.S. airline fares and seat inventories, we find evidence that strongly supports both predictions of the models. After controlling for the effect of aggregate demand uncertainty on fares, we also obtain evidence of second degree price discrimination in the form of advance-purchase discounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13075.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13075

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  1. Gale, Ian L. & Holmes, Thomas J., 1992. "The efficiency of advance-purchase discounts in the presence of aggregate demand uncertainty," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 413-437, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Escobari, Diego, 2012. "Asymmetric Price Adjustments in Airlines," MPRA Paper 42115, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Escobari, Diego, 2009. "Systematic peak-load pricing, congestion premia and demand diverting: Empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 34857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Marco Alderighi & Alessandro Cento & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2011. "Second-degree Price Discrimination and Inter-group Effects in Airline Routes between European Cities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-118/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Raymond Deneckere & James Peck, 2012. "Dynamic Competition With Random Demand and Costless Search: A Theory of Price Posting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1185-1247, 05.
  5. Volodymyr Bilotkach & Alberto A. Gaggero & Claudio A. Piga, 2012. "Airline Pricing under Different Market Conditions: evidence from European Low-Cost Carriers," Discussion Paper Series 2012_01, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jan 2012.
  6. Escobari, Diego & Jindapon, Paan, 2014. "Price Discrimination through Refund Contracts in Airlines," MPRA Paper 53629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Arnold, Michael A. & Saliba, Christine, 2011. "Asymmetric capacity constraints and equilibrium price dispersion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 158-160, May.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011118 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Steven L. Puller & Anirban Sengupta & Steven N. Wiggins, 2009. "Testing Theories of Scarcity Pricing in the Airline Industry," NBER Working Papers 15555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Volodymyr Bilotkach & Nicholas G. Rupp & Vivek Pai, 2013. "Value of a Platform to a Seller: Case of American Airlines and Online Travel Agencies," Working Papers 13-08, NET Institute.
  11. Marco Alderighi & Marcella Nicolini & Claudio A. Piga, 2012. "Combined Effects of Load Factors and Booking Time on Fares: Insights from the Yield Management of a Low-Cost Airline," Working Papers 2012.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Alderighi, Marco, 2010. "Fare dispersions in airline markets: A quantitative assessment of theoretical explanations," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 144-150.
  13. Mantin, Benny & Koo, Bonwoo, 2009. "Dynamic price dispersion in airline markets," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1020-1029, November.
  14. Andrew Sweeting, 2008. "Equilibrium Price Dynamics in Perishable Goods Markets: The Case of Secondary Markets for Major League Baseball Tickets," NBER Working Papers 14505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Escobari, Diego & Lee, Jim, 2013. "Demand Uncertainty and Capacity Utilization in Airlines," MPRA Paper 46059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Diego Escobari, 2012. "Dynamic Pricing, Advance Sales and Aggregate Demand Learning in Airlines," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 697-724, December.

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