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Price Discrimination through Refund Contracts in Airlines

Listed author(s):
  • Escobari, Diego
  • Jindapon, Paan

This paper shows how an airline monopoly uses refundable and non-refundable tickets to screen consumers who are uncertain about their travel. Our theoretical model predicts that the difference between these two fares diminishes as individual demand uncertainty is resolved. Using an original data set from U.S. airline markets, we find strong evidence supporting our model. Price discrimination opportunities through refund contracts decline as the departure date nears and individuals learn about their demand.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/53629/1/MPRA_paper_53629.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 53629.

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Date of creation: 10 Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:53629
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  1. Diego Escobari, 2012. "Dynamic Pricing, Advance Sales and Aggregate Demand Learning in Airlines," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 697-724, December.
  2. Charles J. Cicchetti & A. Myrick Freeman III, 1971. "Option Demand and Consumer Surplus: Further Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 528-539.
  3. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
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  5. Schmalensee, Richard, 1972. "Option Demand and Consumer's Surplus: Valuing Price Changes under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 813-824, December.
  6. Racine, Jeff & Li, Qi, 2004. "Nonparametric estimation of regression functions with both categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 99-130, March.
  7. Diego Escobari & Li Gan, 2007. "Price Dispersion under Costly Capacity and Demand Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 13075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  9. Raymond Deneckere & James Peck, 2012. "Dynamic Competition With Random Demand and Costless Search: A Theory of Price Posting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1185-1247, 05.
  10. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1994. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 653-683, August.
  11. Escobari, Diego, 2009. "Systematic peak-load pricing, congestion premia and demand diverting: Empirical evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 59-61, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 2000. "Sequential Screening," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717.
  14. Escobari, Diego, 2009. "Systematic peak-load pricing, congestion premia and demand diverting: Empirical evidence from airlines," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 59-61.
  15. 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 135-146, March.
  16. Andrew Sweeting, 2012. "Dynamic Pricing Behavior in Perishable Goods Markets: Evidence from Secondary Markets for Major League Baseball Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(6), pages 1133-1172.
  17. Graham, Daniel A, 1981. "Cost-Benefit Analysis under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 715-725, September.
  18. Racine, Jeffrey S., 2008. "Nonparametric Econometrics: A Primer," Foundations and Trends(R) in Econometrics, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 1-88, March.
  19. Marco Alderighi & Marcella Nicolini & Claudio A. Piga, 2012. "Combined Effects of Load Factors and Booking Time on Fares: Insights from the Yield Management of a Low-Cost Airline," Quaderni di Dipartimento 171, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
  20. Volodymyr Bilotkach & Alberto A. Gaggero & Claudio A. Piga, 2011. "Airline Pricing under Different Market Conditions: Evidence from European Low-Cost Carriers," Working Paper Series 47_11, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  21. 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.
  22. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  23. D. R. Byerlee, 1971. "Option Demand and Consumer Surplus: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 523-527.
  24. 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.
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