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An Empirical Analysis of the Competitive Effects of the Delta/Continental/Northwest Code-Share Alliance

  • Philip G. Gayle

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) expressed serious reservations before ultimately approving the Delta/Continental/Northwest code-share alliance. The DOT's main fear was that the alliance could facilitate collusion (explicit or tacit) on prices and/or service levels in the partners' overlapping markets. However, since implementation of the alliance, there has not been a formal empirical analysis of its effects on price and traffic (number of passengers) levels. The main objective of this paper is to conduct such an analysis with a particular focus on testing whether the data are consistent with collusive behavior by the three airlines. The evidence does not suggest that the alliance facilitated collusion on the partners' overlapping routes. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 743-766

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:4:p:743-766
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. Brueckner, Jan K & Whalen, W Tom, 2000. "The Price Effects of International Airline Alliances," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 503-45, October.
  2. Chen, Yongmin & Gayle, Philip G., 2007. "Vertical contracting between airlines: An equilibrium analysis of codeshare alliances," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1046-1060, October.
  3. Steven A. Morrison, 2001. "Actual, Adjacent, and Potential Competition Estimating the Full Effect of Southwest Airlines," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 239-256, May.
  4. Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Product Choice and Oligopoly Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 221-242, Summer.
  5. Philip G. Gayle, 2007. "Airline Code-Share Alliances and Their Competitive Effects," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 781-819.
  6. Harumi Ito & Darin Lee, 2007. "Domestic Code Sharing, Alliances, and Airfares in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 355-380.
  7. Chew Chua & Hsein Kew & Jongsay Yong, 2005. "Airline Code-share Alliances and Costs: Imposing Concavity on Translog Cost Function Estimation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(4), pages 461-487, 06.
  8. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
  9. Bamberger, Gustavo E & Carlton, Dennis W & Neumann, Lynette R, 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of the Competitive Effects of Domestic Airline Alliances," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 195-222, April.
  10. Suzuki, Yoshinori, 2003. "Airline frequent flyer programs: equity and attractiveness," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 289-304, July.
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