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Platform pricing and consumer foresight: The case of airports

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  • Ricardo Flores‐Fillol
  • Alberto Iozzi
  • Tommaso Valletti

Abstract

We analyze the optimal behavior of a platform providing essential inputs to downstream firms selling a primary and a second complementary good. Final demand is affected by consumer foresight, that is, consumers may not anticipate the ex post surplus from the secondary good when purchasing the primary good. We first set up a reduced‐form platform model and evaluate the effects of consumer foresight on the platform's optimal decisions. Then, we specialize the analysis in the context of airports, which derive revenues from both aeronautical and, increasingly, commercial activities. An airport sets landing fees and, in addition, it chooses the retail market structure by selecting the number of retail concessions to be awarded. We find that, with perfectly myopic consumers, the airport chooses to attract more passengers via low landing fees, and also sets the minimum possible number of retailers in order to increase the concessions’ revenues. However, even a very small amount of anticipation of the consumer surplus from retail activities changes significantly the airport's choices: the optimal policy is dependent on the degree of differentiation in the retail market. When consumers instead have perfect foresight, the airport establishes a very competitive retail market. This attracts passengers and it is exploited by the airport by charging higher landing fees, which then constitute the largest share of its profits. Overall, the airport's profits are maximal when consumers have perfect foresight.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Flores‐Fillol & Alberto Iozzi & Tommaso Valletti, 2018. "Platform pricing and consumer foresight: The case of airports," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 705-725, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:27:y:2018:i:4:p:705-725
    DOI: 10.1111/jems.12253
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    Cited by:

    1. Jiang, Changmin & Zhang, Anming, 2015. "Airport congestion pricing and terminal investment: Effects of terminal congestion, passenger types, and concessionsAuthor-Name: Wan, Yulai," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 91-113.
    2. Adrian Nerja, 2017. "Effects of concession revenue sharing contracts and airline alliances in airport competition," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0317, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
    3. Achim I. Czerny & Anmin Zhang, 2015. "Single-Till versus Dual-Till Regulation of Airports," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-049/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Achim I. Czerny & Zijun Shi & Anming Zhang, 2015. "Can market power be controlled by regulation of core prices alone?: An empirical analysis of airport demand and car rental price," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-041/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Carlotta Mariotto & Marianne Verdier, 2020. "Platform–merchant competition for sales services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 834-853, October.
    6. Tiziana D'Alfonso & Valentina Bracaglia & Yulai Wan, 2015. "Airport cities and multiproduct pricing," DIAG Technical Reports 2015-14, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    7. Czerny, Achim I. & Zhang, Hanxiang, 2020. "Rivalry between airport ancillary and city-center supplies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    8. Kidokoro, Yukihiro & Lin, Ming Hsin & Zhang, Anming, 2016. "A general-equilibrium analysis of airport pricing, capacity, and regulation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 142-155.
    9. Bettini, Humberto F.A.J. & Oliveira, Alessandro V.M., 2016. "Two-sided platforms in airport privatization," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 262-278.
    10. Xueke Du & Rui Dong & Wenli Li & Yibo Jia & Lirong Chen, 2019. "Online Reviews Matter: How Can Platforms Benefit from Online Reviews?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(22), pages 1-20, November.
    11. Luigi Serio & Piero Tedeschi & Giovanni Ursino, 2018. "Making Sense of (Ultra) Low-Cost Flights Vertical Differentiation in Two-Sided Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(1), pages 401-420, January.
    12. Czerny, Achim I. & Shi, Zijun & Zhang, Anming, 2016. "Can market power be controlled by regulation of core prices alone? An empirical analysis of airport demand and car rental price," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 260-272.
    13. Tavalaei, M. Mahdi, 2020. "Waiting time in two-sided platforms: The case of the airport industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    14. Xi Wan & Benteng Zou, 2020. "Airport Competition in Two-sided Markets," DEM Discussion Paper Series 20-01, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    15. Kidokoro, Yukihiro & Zhang, Anming, 2018. "Airport congestion pricing and cost recovery with side business," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 114(PA), pages 222-236.

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    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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