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Artificial Compatibility, Barriers to Entry, and Frequent-Flyer Programs

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  • Robert D. Cairns
  • John W. Galbraith

Abstract

If supplier firms can discriminate between buyers (agents) acting on behalf of employers (principals) and those making purchases for themselves, then these firms may be able to create demand-side entry barriers by creating what may be called "artificial compatibility" between otherwise unrelated goods or services. Even if there are no differences in costs between incumbent and potential entrant, there will be an incentive to offer in-kind inducements to agents; these inducements may lead to entry barriers, and their use may be a Nash equilibrium. We argue that "frequent-flyer" programs are instances of the creation of such artificial compatibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert D. Cairns & John W. Galbraith, 1990. "Artificial Compatibility, Barriers to Entry, and Frequent-Flyer Programs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(4), pages 807-816, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:23:y:1990:i:4:p:807-16
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2008. "How Do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1611-1633.
    2. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & López-Valpuesta, Lourdes, 2014. "Living “up in the air†: Meeting the frequent flyer passenger," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 48-55.
    3. Wesley Hartmann & V. Viard, 2008. "Do frequency reward programs create switching costs? A dynamic structural analysis of demand in a reward program," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 109-137, June.
    4. Caminal, Ramon & Claici, Adina, 2007. "Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 657-674, August.
    5. Fredrik Carlsson & Åsa Lofgren, 2006. "Airline choice, switching costs and frequent flyer programmes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(13), pages 1469-1475.
    6. Huric Larsen, Jesper Fredborg, 2012. "Pricing behaviour at capacity constrained facilities," MPRA Paper 39362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Agostini, Claudio A. & Inostroza, Diego & Willington, Manuel, 2015. "Price effects of airlines frequent flyer programs: The case of the dominant firm in Chile," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 283-297.
    8. Byung-Do Kim & Mengze Shi & Kannan Srinivasan, 2004. "Managing Capacity Through Reward Programs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(4), pages 503-520, April.
    9. Mara Lederman, 2007. "Do enhancements to loyalty programs affect demand? The impact of international frequent flyer partnerships on domestic airline demand," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 1134-1158, December.
    10. Kakuya Matsushima & Kiyoshi Kobayashi, 2012. "Economic Evaluation of Pre- and Post-Discounting Fee Systems," Chapters,in: The Regional Economics of Knowledge and Talent, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Claudio Agostini, 2005. "El Mercado de Transporte Aéreo: Lecciones para Chile de una Revisión de la Literatura," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv163, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.

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