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Airline choice, switching costs and frequent flyer programs

Author

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  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Löfgren, Åsa, 2004. "Airline choice, switching costs and frequent flyer programs," Working Papers in Economics 123, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0123
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    2. Raquel Carrasco & José M. Labeaga & J. David López-Salido, 2005. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 144-165, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 123-137, Spring.
    5. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-193, Fall.
    6. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    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 807-816, November.
    11. Beggs, Alan W & Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Multi-period Competition with Switching Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 651-666, May.
    12. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-763, Part I Ju.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johan Lundberg & Sofia Lundberg, 2010. "Retailer choice and loyalty schemes—evidence from Sweden," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 137-146, October.
    2. Martín, Juan Carlos & Román, Concepción & Espino, Raquel, 2011. "Evaluating frequent flyer programs from the air passengers' perspective," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 364-368.
    3. Paha, Johannes & Rompf, Dirk & Warnecke, Christiane, 2013. "Customer choice patterns in passenger rail competition," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 209-227.
    4. Jorge Tarziján M, 2005. "Evaluación de la Autorización de Planes de Precio por Permanencia a las AFP," Working Papers 10, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised Aug 2005.
    5. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & López-Valpuesta, Lourdes, 2014. "Living “up in the air†: Meeting the frequent flyer passenger," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 48-55.
    6. Fröidh, Oskar & Byström, Camilla, 2013. "Competition on the tracks – Passengers’ response to deregulation of interregional rail services," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-10.
    7. Ek, Kristina & Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "Households' switching behavior between electricity suppliers in Sweden," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 254-261, December.
    8. Jens Metge, 2007. "Protecting the Domestic Market: Industrial Policy and Strategic Firm Behaviour," Discussion Paper Series dp467, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    9. repec:eee:ijrema:v:34:y:2017:i:4:p:919-941 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. de Boer, Evert R. & Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar, 2012. "30 years of frequent flyer programs," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 18-24.
    11. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:4:p:491-510 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Switching costs; frequent flyer programs; habit formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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