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Do carriers internalize congestion costs? Empirical evidence on the internalization question

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  • Rupp, Nicholas G.

Abstract

Economists have long suggested overhauling the existing U.S. airport landing/departure fees to reflect market valuations of scarce runway capacity. Economists, however, do not agree on the optimal congestion-based pricing scheme. While some researchers advocate for a uniform congestion fee regardless of a carrier's airport market share, others suggest that airport tolls should only reflect the congestion costs imposed on other carriers. This paper uses ten years of ontime performance data to empirically determine if carriers internalize congestion costs. While previous researchers (e.g., [Mayer, Christopher, Sinai, Todd, 2003a. Network effects, congestion externalities, and air traffic delays: Or why all delays are not evil. American Economic Review 93 (4), 1194-1215]) use "excess travel time" to measure flight delays, the contribution of this paper is the addition of on-time arrival and delay measures based on actual versus scheduled arrival and departure times. We find that estimates based on these new delay measures reverse earlier findings by Mayer and Sinai [2003a. Network effects, congestion externalities, and air traffic delays: Or why all delays are not evil. American Economic Review 93 (4), 1194-1215] and hence imply that carriers are not internalizing flight congestion costs.

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  • Rupp, Nicholas G., 2009. "Do carriers internalize congestion costs? Empirical evidence on the internalization question," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 24-37, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:65:y:2009:i:1:p:24-37
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    Cited by:

    1. Flores-Fillol, Ricardo & Iozzi, Alberto & Valletti, Tommaso, 2014. "Platform pricing and consumer foresight: The case of airports," Working Papers 2072/242278, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    2. Santos, Georgina & Robin, Maël, 2010. "Determinants of delays at European airports," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 392-403, March.
    3. Ivaldi, Marc & Quinet, Emile & Urdanoz, Miguel & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2014. "The Social Cost of Air Traffic Delays," TSE Working Papers 14-545, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
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    5. Gillen, David & Jacquillat, Alexandre & Odoni, Amedeo R., 2016. "Airport demand management: The operations research and economics perspectives and potential synergies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 495-513.
    6. Silva, Hugo E. & Verhoef, Erik T., 2013. "Optimal pricing of flights and passengers at congested airports and the efficiency of atomistic charges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-13.
    7. Jan K. Brueckner, 2008. "Slot-Based Approaches to Airport Congestion Management," CESifo Working Paper Series 2302, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Silva, Hugo E. & Verhoef, Erik T. & van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2014. "Airlines’ strategic interactions and airport pricing in a dynamic bottleneck model of congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 13-27.
    9. Hazledine, Tim & Bunker, Rory, 2013. "Airport size and travel time," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 17-23.
    10. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2013. "Airline consolidation and the distribution of traffic between primary and secondary hubs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 951-963.
    11. Bendinelli, William E. & Bettini, Humberto F.A.J. & Oliveira, Alessandro V.M., 2016. "Airline delays, congestion internalization and non-price spillover effects of low cost carrier entry," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 39-52.
    12. Swaroop, Prem & Zou, Bo & Ball, Michael O. & Hansen, Mark, 2012. "Do more US airports need slot controls? A welfare based approach to determine slot levels," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1239-1259.
    13. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:198-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. Czerny, Achim I. & Zhang, Anming, 2014. "Airport peak-load pricing revisited: The case of peak and uniform tolls," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 90-101.
    16. Bubalo, Branko & Gaggero, Alberto A., 2015. "Low-cost carrier competition and airline service quality in Europe," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 23-31.
    17. Ater, Itai, 2012. "Internalization of congestion at US hub airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 196-209.
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    20. Ivaldi, Marc & Quinet, Emile & Urdanoz, Miguel & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2014. "Airlines, Delays, Social Optimum, Calibration," IDEI Working Papers 842, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    21. Fageda, Xavier, 1975- & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2012. "Airport Congestion and Airline Network Structure," Working Papers 2072/211753, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    22. Czerny, Achim I., 2010. "Airport congestion management under uncertainty," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-380, March.
    23. Joep van Montfort & Vincent A.C. van den Berg, 2017. "The total size of an airline and the quality of its flights," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-099/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    24. 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.
    25. Brueckner, Jan K., 2009. "Price vs. quantity-based approaches to airport congestion management," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 681-690, June.

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