IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A welfare analysis of subsidies for airports


  • Miller, Benjamin I.
  • Dewey, James F.
  • Denslow, David
  • Miller, Edward B.


The welfare of residents and profitability of business in many medium-sized MSAs would be improved if their airports had a higher level of service, for example reflected by more frequent flights serving more destinations. The level of service at such airports may rise with the number of enplanements, making total enplanements and the level of service subject to a positive feedback effect. Using a new annual data set put together by combining five sources for the years 2002 through 2012, we find evidence for such a positive feedback effect. We argue that subsidies at smaller airports may be welfare-enhancing in the presence of such an effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, Benjamin I. & Dewey, James F. & Denslow, David & Miller, Edward B., 2016. "A welfare analysis of subsidies for airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 83-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:50:y:2016:i:c:p:83-90
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2015.10.006

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brueckner, Jan K., 2005. "Internalization of airport congestion: A network analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 599-614, September.
    2. Olivier Armantier & Oliver Richard, 2008. "Domestic airline alliances and consumer welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 875-904, September.
    3. Marcucci, Edoardo & Gatta, Valerio, 2011. "Regional airport choice: Consumer behaviour and policy implications," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 70-84.
    4. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Mueller, Juergen, 2012. "Supply side substitutability and potential market power of airports: Case of Amsterdam Schiphol," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 5-12.
    5. Basar, Gözen & Bhat, Chandra, 2004. "A parameterized consideration set model for airport choice: an application to the San Francisco Bay Area," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 889-904, December.
    6. Brons, Martijn & Pels, Eric & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 2002. "Price elasticities of demand for passenger air travel: a meta-analysis," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 165-175.
    7. Gillen, David & Hinsch, Holger, 2001. "Measuring the economic impact of liberalization of international aviation on Hamburg airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 25-34.
    8. Gillen, David & Lall, Ashish, 2004. "Competitive advantage of low-cost carriers: some implications for airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-50.
    9. Gallet, Craig A. & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2014. "The income elasticity of air travel: A meta-analysis," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 141-155.
    10. Kenneth Button, 2008. "Issues in Airport Runway Capacity Charging and Allocation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(3), pages 563-585, September.
    11. Fullerton, Don, 1991. "Reconciling Recent Estimates of the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 302-308, March.
    12. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    13. Gary M. Fournier & Monica E. Hartmann & Thomas Zuehlke, 2005. "Airport Substitution by Travelers: Why do we have to drive to fly?," Working Papers wp2005_09_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    14. Brueckner, Jan K, 2002. "Internalization of airport congestion," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 141-147.
    15. Hess, Stephane & Polak, John W., 2005. "Mixed logit modelling of airport choice in multi-airport regions," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 59-68.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Hanjun & Hong Tsui, Kan Wai & Ngo, Thanh & Lin, Yi-Hsin, 2020. "Impacts of aviation subsidies on regional wellbeing: Systematic review, meta-analysis and future research directions," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 215-239.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cho, Woohyun & Windle, Robert J. & Dresner, Martin E., 2015. "The impact of low-cost carriers on airport choice in the US: A case study of the Washington–Baltimore region," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 141-157.
    2. Escobari, Diego, 2017. "Airport, airline and departure time choice and substitution patterns: An empirical analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 198-210.
    3. Usami, Munekatsu & Manabe, Masashi & Kimura, Shin, 2017. "Airport choice and flight connectivity among domestic and international passengers – Empirical analysis using passenger movement survey data in Japan," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 15-20.
    4. Allroggen, Florian & Wittman, Michael D. & Malina, Robert, 2015. "How air transport connects the world – A new metric of air connectivity and its evolution between 1990 and 2012," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 184-201.
    5. Lieshout, Rogier, 2012. "Measuring the size of an airport’s catchment area," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 27-34.
    6. de Luca, Stefano, 2012. "Modelling airport choice behaviour for direct flights, connecting flights and different travel plans," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 148-163.
    7. Birolini, Sebastian & Cattaneo, Mattia & Malighetti, Paolo & Morlotti, Chiara, 2020. "Integrated origin-based demand modeling for air transportation," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    8. Jung, Se-Yeon & Yoo, Kwang-Eui, 2016. "A study on passengers' airport choice behavior using hybrid choice model: A case study of Seoul metropolitan area, South Korea," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 70-79.
    9. Xia, Wenyi & Jiang, Changmin & Wang, Kun & Zhang, Anming, 2019. "Air-rail revenue sharing in a multi-airport system: Effects on traffic and social welfare," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 304-319.
    10. James E. Anderson & Will Martin, 2011. "Costs of Taxation and Benefits of Public Goods with Multiple Taxes and Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(2), pages 289-309, April.
    11. Parry, Ian W.H., 1999. "Tax Deductions, Consumption Distortions, and the Marginal Excess Burden of Taxation," Discussion Papers 10801, Resources for the Future.
    12. Mark Delucchi & Don McCubbin, 2011. "External Costs of Transport in the United States," Chapters, in: André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Emile Quinet & Roger Vickerman (ed.), A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Fasone, Vincenzo & Kofler, Lukas & Scuderi, Raffaele, 2016. "Business performance of airports: Non-aviation revenues and their determinants," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 35-45.
    14. Stephane Hess, 2005. "Analysing air-travel choice behaviour in the Greater London area," ERSA conference papers ersa05p736, European Regional Science Association.
    15. Silva, Hugo E. & Verhoef, Erik T. & van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2014. "Airline route structure competition and network policy," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 320-343.
    16. Nombela, Gustavo & de Rus, Gines & Betancor, Ofelia, 2004. "Internalizing airport congestion," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 323-331, December.
    17. Dobruszkes, Frédéric & Mondou, Véronique & Ghedira, Aymen, 2016. "Assessing the impacts of aviation liberalisation on tourism: Some methodological considerations derived from the Moroccan and Tunisian cases," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 115-127.
    18. Yanhao Wei, 2018. "Airline networks, traffic densities, and value of links," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 341-370, September.
    19. Guido Perboli & Marco Ghirardi & Luca Gobbato & Francesca Perfetti, 2015. "Flights and Their Economic Impact on the Airport Catchment Area: An Application to the Italian Tourist Market," Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 1109-1133, March.
    20. Will Martin & James E. Anderson, 2005. "Costs of Taxation and the Benefits of Public Goods: The Role of Income Effects," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 617, Boston College Department of Economics.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:50:y:2016:i:c:p:83-90. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.