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The effects of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry: a panel analysis

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  • Kristopher S. Gerardi
  • Adam Hale Shapiro

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of market structure on price dispersion in the airline industry, using panel data from 1993 through 2006. The results found in this paper contrast with those of Borenstein and Rose (1994), who found that price dispersion increases with competition. We find that competition has a negative effect on price dispersion, in line with the textbook treatment of price discrimination. Specifically, the effects of competition on price dispersion are most significant on routes that we identify as having consumers characterized by relatively heterogeneous elasticities of demand. On routes with a more homogenous customer base, the effects of competition on price discrimination are largely insignificant. We conclude from these results that competition acts to erode the ability of a carrier to price discriminate, resulting in reduced overall price dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2007. "The effects of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry: a panel analysis," Working Papers 07-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:07-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Babecký & Fabrizio Coricelli & Roman Horváth, 2009. "Assessing Inflation Persistence: Micro Evidence on an Inflation Targeting Economy," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(2), pages 102-127, June.
    2. Evangelinos, Christos & Obermeyer, Andy & Püschel, Ronny, 2011. "Preisdispersion und Wettbewerb im Luftverkehr: Ein theoretischer und empirischer Überblick," Discussion Papers 2/2011, Technische Universität Dresden, "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, Institute of Transport and Economics.
    3. Fabrizio Coricelli & Roman Horvath, 2008. "Price Setting And Market Structure: An Empirical Analysis Of Micro Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp938, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. Obermeyer, Andy & Evangelinos, Christos & Püschel, Ronny, 2013. "Price dispersion and competition in European airline markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 31-34.
    5. Ron Borzekowski & Raphael Thomadsen & Charles Taragin, 2009. "Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 147-179, June.
    6. Stacey Mumbower & Laurie A. Garrow, 2014. "Data Set —Online Pricing Data for Multiple U.S. Carriers," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 16(2), pages 198-203, May.
    7. Ramnath K. Chellappa & Raymond G. Sin & S. Siddarth, 2011. "Price Formats as a Source of Price Dispersion: A Study of Online and Offline Prices in the Domestic U.S. Airline Markets," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 83-98, March.

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    Keywords

    Airlines; Price discrimination;

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