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Nonlinear Pricing Strategies And Competitive Conditions In The Airline Industry

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  • MANUEL A. HERNANDEZ
  • STEVEN N. WIGGINS

Abstract

type="main" xml:lang="en"> This paper empirically examines the effect of competitive conditions on nonlinear pricing strategies in the airline industry. We use a unique data set to analyze the impact of concentration and the competitive pressures generated by Southwest and other low cost carriers on the relative prices within a menu of fares. The menu orders tickets by quality based upon cabin and ticket restrictions. We analyze the ratio of fares charged for various qualities within the menu to the fares charged for the lowest quality nonrefundable, restricted tickets. We observe a fare compression for only the highest fares on only the most concentrated (i.e., monopoly) routes. This result is something of a puzzle given a monopolist's market power. We find, however, that actual and potential competition from Southwest reduces low end fares and generally leads to substantial fare compression throughout the fare menu. (JEL L11, L93)

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel A. Hernandez & Steven N. Wiggins, 2014. "Nonlinear Pricing Strategies And Competitive Conditions In The Airline Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 539-561, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:52:y:2014:i:2:p:539-561
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecin.12045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Yao Cui & A. Yeşim Orhun & Izak Duenyas, 2019. "How Price Dispersion Changes When Upgrades Are Introduced: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the Airline Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(8), pages 3835-3852, August.
    6. Seongman Moon & Makoto Watanabe, 2011. "Refundability and Price: Empirical Analysis on the Airline Industry," Working Papers 1107, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    7. 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.
    8. Liu, Cui & He, Rui-chun & Zhou, Wei & Li, Hui, 2021. "Dynamic analysis of airline bidding game based on nonlinear cost," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 565(C).
    9. Ko, Young Dae, 2016. "An airline's management strategies in a competitive air transport market," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 53-61.
    10. Diego Escobari & Manuel A. Hernandez, 2019. "Separating Between Unobserved Consumer Types: Evidence From Airlines," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(2), pages 1215-1230, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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