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Tracing the Woes: An Empirical Analysis of the Airline Industry

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Listed:
  • Steven Berry
  • Panle Jia

Abstract

The US airline industry went through tremendous turmoil in the early 2000s, with four major bankruptcies, two major mergers, and various changes in network structure. This paper presents a structural model of the industry, and estimates the impact of demand and supply changes on profitability. Compared with 1999, we find that, in 2006, air-travel demand was 8 percent more price sensitive, passengers displayed a stronger preference for nonstop flights, and changes in marginal cost significantly favored nonstop flights. Together with the expansion of low-cost carriers, they explain more than 80 percent of legacy carriers' variable profit reduction. (JEL L13, L25, L93)

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Berry & Panle Jia, 2010. "Tracing the Woes: An Empirical Analysis of the Airline Industry," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-43, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:1-43
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.3.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Forbes, Silke J., 2008. "The effect of air traffic delays on airline prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1218-1232, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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