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Domestic airline alliances and consumer welfare

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  • Olivier Armantier
  • Oliver Richard

Abstract

This article investigates the consumer welfare consequences of the recent code-share agreement between Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines. We develop a discrete choice model based on individual flight characteristics. This structural model recognizes that consumers (i) may have heterogeneous preferences for flight attributes, and (ii) may face different prices for the same flight. The empirical methodology also deals with the measurement error problem stemming from the absence of consumer-level data on prices. The estimation results suggest that, whereas the code-share agreement did not impact consumers significantly on average, it increased the average surplus of connecting passengers but decreased the average surplus of nonstop passengers. Interestingly, the magnitude of our welfare results may be attributed in large part to changes in product characteristics other than prices. Copyright (c) 2008, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Armantier & Oliver Richard, 2008. "Domestic airline alliances and consumer welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 875-904.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:875-904
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