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Understanding airline price dispersion in the presence of high-speed rail

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  • Ma, Wenliang
  • Wang, Qiang
  • Yang, Hangjun
  • Zhang, Guoquan
  • Zhang, Yahua

Abstract

This paper examines the price dispersion among China's “Big Three”, namely, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern in the presence of high-speed rail (HSR). It has been found that HSR is positively and significantly associated with airline price dispersion on the long-haul routes, which may suggest that the presence of HSR can facilitate airline cooperation in setting prices and outputs, thereby leading to greater price dispersion. However, on the short-haul routes where HSR is highly substitutable, the HSR competition effect dominates, and smaller price dispersion is observed. All the market structure and competition variables included in this study support the conclusion that price dispersion is greater in more concentrated and more densely travelled markets. The contribution of airline cost to price dispersion is limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Wenliang & Wang, Qiang & Yang, Hangjun & Zhang, Guoquan & Zhang, Yahua, 2020. "Understanding airline price dispersion in the presence of high-speed rail," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 93-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:95:y:2020:i:c:p:93-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2020.05.015
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