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Market structure and multiple equilibria in airline markets


  • Ciliberto, Federico
  • Tamer, Elie


We provide a practical method to estimate the payoff functions of players in complete information, static, discrete games. With respect to the empirical literature on entry games originated by Bresnahan and Reiss (1990) and Berry (1992), the main novelty of our framework is to allow for general forms of heterogeneity across players without making equilibrium selection assumptions. We allow the effects that the entry of each individual airline has on the profits of its competitors, its “competitive effects,” to differ across airlines. The identified features of the model are sets of parameters (partial identification) such that the choice probabilities predicted by the econometric model are consistent with the empirical choice probabilities estimated from the data. We apply this methodology to investigate the empirical importance of firm heterogeneity as a determinant of market structure in the U.S. airline industry. We find evidence of heterogeneity across airlines in their profit functions. The competitive effects of large airlines (American, Delta, United) are different from those of low cost carriers and Southwest. Also, the competitive effect of an airline is increasing in its airport presence, which is an important measure of observable heterogeneity in the airline industry. Then we develop a policy experiment to estimate the effect of repealing the Wright Amendment on competition in markets out of the Dallas airports. We find that repealing theWright Amendment would increase the number of markets served out of Dallas Love.

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  • Ciliberto, Federico & Tamer, Elie, 2009. "Market structure and multiple equilibria in airline markets," MPRA Paper 38635, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38635

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Federico Ciliberto & Elie Tamer, 2009. "Market Structure and Multiple Equilibria in Airline Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1791-1828, November.
    2. Charles F. Manski & Elie Tamer, 2002. "Inference on Regressions with Interval Data on a Regressor or Outcome," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 519-546, March.
    3. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2007. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 323-363, March.
    4. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
    5. Patrick Bajari & Han Hong & Stephen P. Ryan, 2010. "Identification and Estimation of a Discrete Game of Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1529-1568, September.
    6. Victor Chernozhukov & Han Hong & Elie Tamer, 2007. "Estimation and Confidence Regions for Parameter Sets in Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1243-1284, September.
    7. Arie Beresteanu & Francesca Molinari, 2008. "Asymptotic Properties for a Class of Partially Identified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 763-814, July.
    8. Richard W. Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian A. Crawford, 2003. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 205-240, January.
    9. Joseph P. Romano & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2010. "Inference for the Identified Set in Partially Identified Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 169-211, January.
    10. Canay, Ivan A., 2010. "EL inference for partially identified models: Large deviations optimality and bootstrap validity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 408-425, June.
    11. Reiss, Peter C & Spiller, Pablo T, 1989. "Competition and Entry in Small Airline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 179-202, October.
    12. Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2008. "Sharp identification regions in games," CeMMAP working papers CWP15/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. Philip A. Haile & Elie Tamer, 2003. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 1-51, February.
    14. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1993. "Localized Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 66-75, February.
    15. Aradillas-Lopez, Andres, 2010. "Semiparametric estimation of a simultaneous game with incomplete information," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 409-431, August.
    16. Andrew Sweeting, 2005. "Coordination Games, Multiple Equilibria and the Timing of Radio Commercials," 2005 Meeting Papers 490, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Andrew Cohen & Ron Borzekowski, 2005. "Estimating Strategic Complementarities in Credit Union’s Outsourcing Decisions," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 410, Society for Computational Economics.
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    More about this item


    Entry models; inference in discrete games; multiple equilibria; partial identification; airline industry; firm heterogeneity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions


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