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Is it the labor unions' fault? Dissecting the causes of the impaired technical efficiencies of the legacy carriers in the United States

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  • Greer, Mark

Abstract

Data envelopment analysis is used to evaluate the technical efficiencies of a number of major passenger airlines in the United States at transforming their inputs (labor, fuel and fleet-wide seating capacity) into available seat-miles. A tobit regression model is then used to identify the underlying drivers of airline efficiency, as measured by the data envelopment analysis efficiency score. The impact of unionization on airline efficiency is found to be statistically insignificant, controlling for the influences of other hypothesized determinants of airline efficiency: the average age of an airline's fleet, the average size of its aircraft, its average stage length, the extent to which the airline relies of hubbing within its route structure, the percent of its passenger enplanements that are international, and whether the airline is a legacy carrier. The statistically significant drivers of airline efficiency, at a ten percent level of significance, are average aircraft size, average stage length and the extent to which the airline relies on hubbing and connecting flights within its route structure. The stage length variable is not significant at a five percent level of significance, however. An increase in average aircraft size or in average stage length enhances an airline's efficiency whereas an increase in hubbing reduces it.

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  • Greer, Mark, 2009. "Is it the labor unions' fault? Dissecting the causes of the impaired technical efficiencies of the legacy carriers in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(9-10), pages 779-789, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:9-10:p:779-789
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    1. repec:eee:transe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:52-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Devicienti, Francesco & Manello, Alessandro & Vannoni, Davide, 2017. "Technical efficiency, unions and decentralized labor contracts," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(3), pages 1129-1141.
    3. Li, Ye & Wang, Yan-zhang & Cui, Qiang, 2015. "Evaluating airline efficiency: An application of Virtual Frontier Network SBM," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-17.
    4. Li, Ye & Wang, Yan-zhang & Cui, Qiang, 2016. "Has airline efficiency affected by the inclusion of aviation into European Union Emission Trading Scheme? Evidences from 22 airlines during 2008–2012," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 8-22.
    5. Wanke, Peter & Barros, C.P., 2016. "Efficiency in Latin American airlines: A two-stage approach combining Virtual Frontier Dynamic DEA and Simplex Regression," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 93-103.
    6. Mallikarjun, Sreekanth, 2015. "Efficiency of US airlines: A strategic operating model," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-56.
    7. Arjomandi, Amir & Seufert, Juergen Heinz, 2014. "An evaluation of the world's major airlines' technical and environmental performance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 133-144.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:121-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Barros, Carlos P. & Liang, Qi Bin & Peypoch, Nicolas, 2013. "The technical efficiency of US Airlines," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 139-148.
    10. Chiou, Yu-Chiun & Lan, Lawrence W. & Yen, Barbara T.H., 2012. "Route-based data envelopment analysis models," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 415-425.
    11. Cui, Qiang & Wei, Yi-Ming & Li, Ye, 2016. "Exploring the impacts of the EU ETS emission limits on airline performance via the Dynamic Environmental DEA approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 984-994.
    12. Barros, Carlos Pestana & Wanke, Peter, 2015. "An analysis of African airlines efficiency with two-stage TOPSIS and neural networks," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 44, pages 90-102.
    13. Cui, Qiang & Li, Ye & Yu, Chen-lu & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2016. "Evaluating energy efficiency for airlines: An application of Virtual Frontier Dynamic Slacks Based Measure," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1231-1240.
    14. repec:eee:transa:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Wanke, Peter & Pestana Barros, Carlos & Chen, Zhongfei, 2015. "An analysis of Asian airlines efficiency with two-stage TOPSIS and MCMC generalized linear mixed models," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 110-126.
    16. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:130-143 is not listed on IDEAS

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