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A quantitative cross-modal analysis of transportation firms’ transaction costs – Are airlines any different?

  • Merkert, Rico
  • Cowie, Jonathan

This paper applies a top-down approach to transaction cost measurement to identify the size of the transaction sector within types of transport firms in Britain, including rail and bus operating firms but also and importantly of airlines. Whilst this cross-sector analysis shows differences for a snapshot in time, it also reveals changes of transaction costs over time. Our results suggest that airlines employ a relatively large number of transaction staff. However, in contrast to the train and bus operators, airlines in Britain have managed to reduce the level of their transaction costs substantially over time both in relation to output and operating cost.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Air Transport Management.

Volume (Year): 22 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 3-8

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:22:y:2012:i:c:p:3-8
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-air-transport-management/

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  1. Merkert, Rico, 2010. "Changes in transaction costs over time - The case of franchised train operating firms in Britain," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 52-59.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E., 2005. "Transaction cost economics and business administration," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-40, March.
  3. Johannes Fuhr & Thorsten Beckers, 2006. "Vertical Governance between Airlines and Airports – A Transaction Cost Analysis," Working Papers 2006-04, Center for Network Industries and Infrastructure (CNI).
  4. Jonathan Cowie, 2002. "Acquisition, efficiency and scale economies: An analysis of the British bus industry," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 147-157, January.
  5. Michael Dietrich, 2003. "The importance of management and transaction costs for large UK firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1317-1329.
  6. Johannes Fuhr, 2009. "Liberalisation of the European Ramp-handling Market: A Transaction Cost Assessment," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 43(1), pages 105-122, January.
  7. Wallis, John Joseph & North, Douglass C., 1988. "Should Transaction Costs be Subtracted from Gross National Product?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 651-654, September.
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