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Productivity and efficiency of world airlines : an empirical application with order-m and alpha-frontiers


  • Christophe Bontemps

    () (GREMAQ - Groupe de recherche en économie mathématique et quantitative - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Steve Lawford

    () (LEEA - ENAC - Laboratoire d'Economie et d'Econométrie de l'Aérien - ENAC - Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile)

  • Nathalie Lenoir

    () (LEEA - ENAC - Laboratoire d'Economie et d'Econométrie de l'Aérien - ENAC - Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile)


Using a new database on international airlines, we investigate industry productivity and airline efficiency. First, we question the available methods of input and output measurement. We examine and compare firm-level Total Factor Productivity (TFP) indexes across airlines and over time. We then disentangle various components of the TFP. In particular, productivity and technical change are analyzed at the firm and industry levels using the decomposition proposed by Simar and Wilson (1998) and Wheelock and Wilson (1999). Second, we employ robust frontier estimation techniques (the order-m and alpha-frontiers, developed recently by Daouia, Florens, Simar and others) to compute firm-level efficiencies. We use the order-m and alpha-scores as alternative benchmarks for ranking major airlines by performance. We analyze changes in the ranking of these airlines over time and across airlines types (majors or low cost, US or European, and domestic or international).

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Bontemps & Steve Lawford & Nathalie Lenoir, 2013. "Productivity and efficiency of world airlines : an empirical application with order-m and alpha-frontiers," Post-Print hal-00876468, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00876468
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