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Incumbent responses to low-cost airline entry and exit: A spatial autoregressive panel data analysis

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  • Daraban, Bogdan
  • Fournier, Gary M.

Abstract

While the US airline industry has been substantially transformed in recent years by the growth of low-cost airlines, the cost-saving benefits of lower airfares are difficult to gauge empirically. There are two important ways in which this paper contributes to the existing literature on the impact of the low-cost carriers (LCCs). First, the availability of route-level panel data allows us to examine the role of the LCCs in the long-run adjustment of airfares as well as the responses of the incumbent carriers to LCC entry and exit in a dynamic setting. Second, we capitalize on recent developments in spatial econometrics and explicitly model the spatial dependence among adjacent airline routes, an issue often ignored by previous studies. Although most of the pro-competitive effects of LCC entry take place after entry, we find evidence that the incumbent carriers also cut airfares in anticipation of entry by the LCCs. Moreover fares remain lower even after Southwest Airlines exits. Our empirical analysis confirms the spatial dependence among airfares in adjacent routes, provides estimates of the consumer benefits from lower airfares in routes affected by LCCs, and shows that there are substantial indirect benefits, i.e. lower fares in spatially-linked, nearby routes.

Suggested Citation

  • Daraban, Bogdan & Fournier, Gary M., 2008. "Incumbent responses to low-cost airline entry and exit: A spatial autoregressive panel data analysis," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 15-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:24:y:2008:i:1:p:15-24
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    Cited by:

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    2. Hüschelrath, Kai & Müller, Kathrin, 2013. "The competitive effects of firm exit," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 72-85.
    3. Ofelia Betancor & Juan Luis Jiménez, 2011. "When trains go faster than planes: the strategic reaction of airlines in Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa11p295, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Kai Hüschelrath & Kathrin Müller, 2013. "Patterns and Effects of Entry in U.S. Airline Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 221-253, June.
    5. Wang, Junjin & Liu, Jiaguo & Zhang, Xin, 2020. "Service purchasing and market-entry problems in a shipping supply chain," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    6. Philip G. Gayle & Xin Xie, 2018. "Entry Deterrence And Strategic Alliances," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(3), pages 1898-1924, July.
    7. Wang, Kun & Tsui, Wai Hong Kan & Li, Lan-Bing & Lei, Zheng & Fu, Xiaowen, 2020. "Entry pattern of low-cost carriers in New Zealand - The impact of domestic and trans-Tasman market factors," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 36-45.
    8. Wang, Yixiao & Sun, Luoyi & Teunter, Ruud H. & Wu, Jianhong & Hua, Guowei, 2020. "Effects of introducing low-cost high-speed rail on air-rail competition: Modelling and numerical analysis for Paris-Marseille," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 145-162.
    9. John Kwoka & Birzhan Batkeyev, 2019. "Strategic Responses to Competitive Threats: Airlines in Action," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 54(1), pages 83-109, February.
    10. O. Cem Ozturk & Sriram Venkataraman & Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 2016. "Price Reactions to Rivals’ Local Channel Exits," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(4), pages 588-604, July.
    11. Hüschelrath, Kai & Müller, Kathrin, 2012. "The competitive effects of firm exit: Evidence from the US airline industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-037, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    12. Wang, Fan & Zhuo, Xiaopo & Niu, Baozhuang, 2017. "Strategic entry to regional air cargo market under joint competition of demand and promised delivery time," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 317-336.
    13. Agustin Ros, 2011. "The Determinants of Pricing in the Mexican Domestic Airline Sector: The Impact of Competition and Airport Congestion," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(1), pages 43-60, January.
    14. Ko, Young Dae, 2019. "The airfare pricing and seat allocation problem in full-service carriers and subsidiary low-cost carriers," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 92-102.
    15. Cruz Rodríguez Ignacio J., 2012. "Aerolíneas de bajo costo en México Competencia modal, intermodal e intramodal," Contaduría y Administración, Accounting and Management, vol. 57(4), pages 235-251, octubre-d.
    16. Ren, Junqiushi, 2020. "Fare impacts of Southwest Airlines: A comparison of nonstop and connecting flights," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    17. Faghih-Imani, Ahmadreza & Eluru, Naveen, 2016. "Incorporating the impact of spatio-temporal interactions on bicycle sharing system demand: A case study of New York CitiBike system," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 218-227.
    18. Diana, Tony, 2010. "Predicting Arrival Delays: An Application of Spatial Analysis," 51st Annual Transportation Research Forum, Arlington, Virginia, March 11-13, 2010 207260, Transportation Research Forum.

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