IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tin/wpaper/20170079.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Impact of Airline Mergers on Quality: Why Do Different Mergers Have Such Different Effects?

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Rijken

    () (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Vincent (V.A.C.) van den Berg

    () (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands)

Abstract

We investigate the impacts of five airline mergers on one quality dimension, namely route frequency. We use monthly data on routes between the largest 64 US cities from 1999 to 2016. On average, the mergers decrease the frequency, but there are large differences between the five mergers. We hypothesize that these differences resulted from differences in the market and network structures. Our estimations indicate that, if a destination has more connecting flights of the merging airlines, the merger is less detrimental to the frequency, possibly because the merger removes serial marginalization in the quality and price setting. For the market structure effect, we use two distinct set-ups. In the first set-up, the effects of mergers depend on a lagged variable measuring the current market structure. On routes with stronger competition, mergers decrease the frequency more, possibly due to a larger effect on the market structure. When the merging airlines control all the flights, mergers have almost no impact on the frequency. The second set-up uses the market structure before the merger. When one of the merging partners controlled all the flights between two airports, the merger does not directly affect the market structure and seems to have little to no impact on the frequency. Surprisingly, if both partners were flying between two airports before the merger, this merger does not seem to be more harmful to the frequency than when only one partner was operating on the route.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Rijken & Vincent (V.A.C.) van den Berg, 2017. "The Impact of Airline Mergers on Quality: Why Do Different Mergers Have Such Different Effects?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-079/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20170079
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/17079.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Kwoka & Evgenia Shumilkina, 2010. "The Price Effect Of Eliminating Potential Competition: Evidence From An Airline Merger," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 767-793, December.
    2. Economides, Nicholas & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Competition and Integration among Complements, and Network Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-123, March.
    3. Ying Fan, 2013. "Ownership Consolidation and Product Characteristics: A Study of the US Daily Newspaper Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1598-1628, August.
    4. Kim, E Han & Singal, Vijay, 1993. "Mergers and Market Power: Evidence from the Airline Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 549-569, June.
    5. Ryan Mutter & Patrick Romano & Herbert Wong, 2011. "The Effects of US Hospital Consolidations on Hospital Quality," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 109-126.
    6. Chen, Yongmin & Gayle, Philip, 2013. "Mergers and Product Quality: Evidence from the Airline Industry," MPRA Paper 51238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Dan Luo, 2014. "The Price Effects of the Delta/Northwest Airline Merger," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(1), pages 27-48, February.
    8. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2015. "Balancing competition and cooperation: Evidence from transatlantic airline markets," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-059, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Severin Borenstein, 1989. "Hubs and High Fares: Dominance and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 344-365, Autumn.
    10. Patrick Romano & David Balan, 2011. "A Retrospective Analysis of the Clinical Quality Effects of the Acquisition of Highland Park Hospital by Evanston Northwestern Healthcare," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 45-64.
    11. Steven Berry & Panle Jia, 2010. "Tracing the Woes: An Empirical Analysis of the Airline Industry," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-43, August.
    12. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
    13. Borenstein, Severin, 1990. "Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 400-404, May.
    14. Paola Sapienza, 2002. "The Effects of Banking Mergers on Loan Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 329-367, February.
    15. Harumi Ito & Darin Lee, 2007. "Domestic Code Sharing, Alliances, and Airfares in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 355-380.
    16. Richard, Oliver, 2003. "Flight frequency and mergers in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 907-922, June.
    17. Ho, Vivian & Hamilton, Barton H., 2000. "Hospital mergers and acquisitions: does market consolidation harm patients?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 767-791, September.
    18. Czerny, Achim I. & van den Berg, Vincent A.C. & Verhoef, Erik T., 2016. "Carrier collaboration with endogenous fleets and load factors when networks are complementary," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 285-297.
    19. Volodymyr Bilotkach, 2007. "Airline Partnerships and Schedule Coordination," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 41(3), pages 413-425, September.
    20. Philip G. Gayle, 2013. "On the Efficiency of Codeshare Contracts between Airlines: Is Double Marginalization Eliminated?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 244-273, November.
    21. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    22. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mergers; quality; airlines; schedule delay; frequency;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20170079. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tinbergen Office +31 (0)10-4088900). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.