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Airport Marginal Cost Pricing: Discussion and an Application to Swedish Airports


  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)


We derive an optimal airport-pricing model, both with and without a constraint on the revenues, that includes all relevant external marginal costs,. Given the results of the model we discuss the implications on the profit of airports, and find that given that the proceeds of the environmental charges are seen as revenue for the airport, it is not obvious that a marginal cost-pricing scheme would result in financial deficits for the airports, this despite the reasonable assumption of increasing returns to scale in airport capacity. Using relatively crude estimates of the marginal costs, we compare the current pricing scheme with a marginal cost pricing scheme. We find that the effect on revenues of moving towards a marginal cost pricing scheme may not be so dramatic; especially not if the marginal external costs include estimated marginal costs of CO2 emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik, 2002. "Airport Marginal Cost Pricing: Discussion and an Application to Swedish Airports," Working Papers in Economics 85, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0085

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlsson , Fredrik, 2000. "Environmental Taxation in Airline Markets," Working Papers in Economics 24, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson, 2000. "Environmental Taxation and Strategic Commitment in Duopoly Models," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(3), pages 243-256, March.
    3. Algers, S. & Bergstrom, P. & Dahlberg, M. & Dillen, J.L., 1998. "Mixed Logit Estimation of the Value of Travel Time," Papers 1998:15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    4. Jan K. Brueckner, 2002. "Airport Congestion When Carriers Have Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1357-1375, December.
    5. Bernard M.S. van Praag & B.E. Baarsma, 2000. "The Shadow Price of Aircraft Noise Nuisance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Mohring, Herbert, 1970. "The Peak Load Problem with Increasing Returns and Pricing Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 693-705, September.
    7. Zhang, Anming & Zhang, Yimin, 1997. "Concession revenue and optimal airport pricing," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 287-296, December.
    8. Levine, Michael E, 1969. "Landing Fees and the Airport Congestion Problem," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 79-108, April.
    9. Brueckner, Jan K, 2002. "Internalization of airport congestion," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 141-147.
    10. Severin Borenstein, 1988. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Markets for Operating Licenses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 357-385.
    11. Morrison, Steven A., 1987. "The equity and efficiency of runway pricing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 45-60, October.
    12. Carlin, Alan & Park, Rolla Edward, 1970. "Marginal Cost Pricing of Airport Runway Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 310-319, June.
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    More about this item


    Airport pricing; marginal cost pricing; emission charge;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy


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