Network Effects, Congestion Externalities, and Air Traffic Delays: Or Why All Delays Are Not Evil
We examine two factors that might explain the extent of air traffic delays in the United States: network benefits due to hubbing and congestion externalities. Airline hubs enable passengers to cross-connect to many destinations, thus creating network benefits that increase in the number of markets served from the hub. Delays are the equilibrium outcome of a hub airline equating high marginal benefits from hubbing with the marginal cost of delays. Congestion externalities are created when airlines do not consider that adding flights may lead to increased delays for other air carriers. In this case, delays represent a market failure. Using data on all domestic flights by major US carriers from 1988-2000, we find that delays are increasing in hubbing activity at an airport and decreasing in market concentration but the hubbing effect dominates empirically. In addition, most delays due to hubbing actually accrue to the hub carrier, primarily because the hub carrier clusters its flights in short spans of time in order to maximize passenger interconnections. Non hub flights at hub airports operate with minimal additional travel time by avoiding the congested peak connecting times of the hub carrier. These results suggest that an optimal congestion tax would have a relatively small impact on air traffic delays since hub carriers already internalize most of the costs of hubbing and a tax that did not take the network benefits of hubbing into account could reduce social welfare.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 256 South 37th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330|
Web page: http://zell-lurie-center.wharton.upenn.edu/working.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
- Borenstein, S., 1991.
"The Evolution of U.S. Airline Competition,"
389, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- 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 653-83, August.
- 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.
- Carlin, Alan & Park, Rolla Edward, 1970. "Marginal Cost Pricing of Airport Runway Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 310-19, June.
- Ken Hendricks & Michele Piccione & Guofu Tan, 1995. "The Economics of Hubs: The Case of Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 83-99.
- Brueckner, Jan K & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "Economies of Traffic Density in the Deregulated Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 379-415, October.
- Borenstein, Severin, 1990. "Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 400-404, May.
- Jan K. Brueckner & Nichola J. Dyer & Pablo T. Spiller, 1992. "Fare Determination in Airline Hub-and-Spoke Networks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 309-333, Autumn.
- Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
- 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 549-69, June.
- Arnott, Richard J., 1979. "Unpriced transport congestion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 294-316, October.
- Ken Hendricks & Michele Piccione & Guofu Tan, 1997. "Entry and Exit in Hub-Spoke Networks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 291-303, Summer.
- Daniel, Joseph I, 1995. "Congestion Pricing and Capacity of Large Hub Airports: A Bottleneck Model with Stochastic Queues," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 327-70, March.
- 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.
- Encacoua, D. & Moreaux, M. & Perrot, A., 1995.
"Compatibility and Competition in Airlines: Demand Side Network Effect,"
Papiers d'Economie MathÃ©matique et Applications
95.21, UniversitÃ© PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
- Encaoua, David & Moreaux, Michel & Perrot, Anne, 1996. "Compatibility and competition in airlines demand side network effects," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 701-726, October.
- Singal, Vijay, 1996. "Airline Mergers and Competition: An Integration of Stock and Product Price Effects," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(2), pages 233-68, April.
- Garth Saloner & Andrea Shepard, 1995. "Adoption of Technologies with Network Effects: An Empirical Examination of the Adoption of Teller Machines," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 479-501, Autumn.
- Daniel, Joseph I. & Pahwa, Munish, 2000. "Comparison of Three Empirical Models of Airport Congestion Pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-38, January.
- Douglas W. Caves & Laurits R. Christensen & Michael W. Tretheway, 1984. "Economies of Density versus Economies of Scale: Why Trunk and Local Service Airline Costs Differ," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 471-489, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:pennzl:393. 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: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.