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Market Structure and Competition in Airline Markets

Author

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  • Ciliberto, Federico
  • Murry, Charles
  • Tamer, Elie

Abstract

We provide an econometric framework for estimating a game of simultaneous entry and pricing decisions in oligopolistic markets while allowing for correlations between unobserved fixed costs, marginal costs, and demand shocks. Firms' decisions to enter a market are based on whether they will realize positive profits from entry. We use our framework to quantitatively account for this selection problem in the pricing stage. We estimate this model using cross-sectional data from the US airline industry. We find that not accounting for endogenous entry leads to overestimation of demand elasticities. This, in turn, leads to biased markups, which has implications for the policy evaluation of market power. Our methodology allows us to study how firms optimally decide entry/exit decision in response to a change in policy. We simulate a merger between American and US Airways and we find that the post-merger market structure and prices depend crucially on how we model the characteristics of the post-merger firm as a function of the pre-merger firms' characteristics. Overall, the merged firm has a strong incentive to enter new markets; the merged firm faces a stronger threat of entry from rival legacy carriers, as opposed to low cost carriers; and, post-merger entry mitigates the adverse effects of increased concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciliberto, Federico & Murry, Charles & Tamer, Elie, 2018. "Market Structure and Competition in Airline Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 13346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13346
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    2. repec:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:4:p:2429-2461. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mark J Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu & Xiaoyan Fan & Shengxing Zhang, 2018. "The Role of Firm Factors in Demand, Cost, and Export Market Selection for Chinese Footwear Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 2429-2461.
    4. Jorge Balat & Sukjin Han, 2018. "Multiple Treatments with Strategic Interaction," Papers 1805.08275, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entry; market power; market structure; merger; multiple equilibria; oligopoly; Self-selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations

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