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Airline choice, switching costs and frequent flyer programs

  • Carlsson, Fredrik


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

  • Löfgren, Åsa

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

Switching costs are costs that customers face when switching from one firm to another. In markets such as the airline market where repeated purchases are common, switching costs may be substantial. In this paper we estimate the switching costs for domestic airline routes in Sweden between 1992 and 2002. In addition we also test for the determinants of switching costs. In particular we test to what extent factors such as frequent flyer programs and flag carriers have an effect on switching costs. The paper ends with a brief discussion on the welfare consequences of switching cots, where the connection between habit formation and switching costs is discussed.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 123.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 29 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0123
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
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  1. Beggs, Alan & Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "Multi-Period Competition with Switching Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1h02g9q4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
  4. Löfgren, Åsa, 2003. "The Effect of Addiction on Environmental Taxation in a First and Second-best world," Working Papers in Economics 91, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Carrasco, Raquel & Labeaga Azcona, J Maria & López-Salido, J David, 2002. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 3520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  7. Moshe Kim & Doron Kliger & Bent Vale, 2001. "Estimating Switching Costs and Oligopolistic Behavior," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  9. Shy, Oz, 2002. "A quick-and-easy method for estimating switching costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-87, January.
  10. Robert D. Cairns & John W. Galbraith, 1990. "Artificial Compatibility, Barriers to Entry, and Frequent-Flyer Programs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(4), pages 807-16, November.
  11. Proussaloglou, Kimon & Koppelman, Frank S., 1999. "The choice of air carrier, flight, and fare class," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 193-201.
  12. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
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