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Airline Market Power and Intertemporal Price Dispersion

This paper analyzes the empirical relationship between market structure and price dispersion in the airline markets connecting the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Price dispersion is measured by a number of inequality indexes, calculated using fares posted on the Internet at specific days before takeoff. We find a negative correlation between market dominance and price dispersion; thus competition appears to hinder the airlines' ability to price discriminate to exploit consumers' heterogeneity in booking time preferences. Moreover, in the Christmas and Easter periods of high demand, fares are less dispersed, possibly because airlines target a less heterogenous set of consumers.

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File URL: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/RePEc/lbo/lbowps/wp_REPEC_IPD2.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Loughborough University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2009_10.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:lbo:lbowps:2009_10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU
Phone: +44 (0) 1509 222701
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Web page: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/research/economics/index.html
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  1. Severin Borenstein & Nancy L. Rose, 1991. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," NBER Working Papers 3785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claudio A. Piga & Enrico Bachis, 2006. "Pricing strategies by European traditional and low cost airlines. Or, when is it the best time to book on line?," Discussion Paper Series 2006_14, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jul 2006.
  3. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  4. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  5. Severin Borenstein, 1985. "Price Discrimination in Free-Entry Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 380-397, Autumn.
  6. James D. Dana Jr., 1999. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion Under Demand Uncertainty: The Roles of Costly Capacity and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 632-660, Winter.
  7. Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
  8. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2009. "Does Competition Reduce Price Dispersion? New Evidence from the Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37, 02.
  9. James D. Dana & Jr., 1998. "Advance-Purchase Discounts and Price Discrimination in Competitive Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 395-422, April.
  10. repec:att:wimass:9214 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Stokey, Nancy L, 1979. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 355-71, August.
  12. repec:att:wimass:9005 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Gale, Ian L. & Holmes, Thomas J., 1992. "The efficiency of advance-purchase discounts in the presence of aggregate demand uncertainty," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 413-437, September.
  14. Gale, Ian L & Holmes, Thomas J, 1993. "Advance-Purchase Discounts and Monopoly Allocation of Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 135-46, March.
  15. Giaume, Stephanie & Guillou, Sarah, 2004. "Price discrimination and concentration in European airline markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 305-310.
  16. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
  17. Kathy J. Hayes & Leola B. Ross, 1998. "Is Airline Price Dispersion the Result of Careful Planning or Competitive Forces?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 523-541, October.
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