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Separating Between Unobserved Consumer Types: Evidence From Airlines

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  • Diego Escobari
  • Manuel A. Hernandez

Abstract

We propose an alternative approach to identify unobserved consumer types and assess whether firms price discriminate. Unlike other screening schemes that rely on quantity discounts or product differentiation, in our finite mixture structure individuals have unit demands and the product is homogeneous. We implement the model using an original U.S. airlines data set. The results support the existence of two demand types. The high‐type “business” traveler is less price sensitive, has a higher valuation, and pays a higher price than the low type “tourist.” The proportion of high types also increases as the departure date nears. (JEL C23, L93, R41)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:2:p:1215-1230
    DOI: 10.1111/ecin.12736
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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