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Airline networks, mergers, and consumer welfare

  • Hüschelrath, Kai
  • Müller, Kathrin

We study the consumer welfare effects of mergers in airline networks. Based on the development of a general classification of affected routes, we apply a difference-indifferences approach to exemplarily investigate the price effects of the America West Airlines - US Airways merger completed in 2005. We find that although average prices increased substantially on routes in which both airlines competed either on a non-stop or one-stop basis prior to the merger, substantial average price reductions observed for routes without any premerger overlap suggest that the merger led to a net increase in consumer welfare.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-028.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13028
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  1. Borenstein, Severin, 1990. "Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 400-404, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Richard, Oliver, 2003. "Flight frequency and mergers in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 907-922, June.
  4. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1998. "The Entry-Inducing Effects of Horizontal Mergers: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 525-43, December.
  5. Elizabeth E. Bailey & Dong Liu, 1995. "Airline Consolidation and Consumer Welfare," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 463-476, Fall.
  6. 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.
  7. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Ho, Chun-Yu, 2010. "A dynamic game of airline network competition: Hub-and-spoke networks and entry deterrence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 377-382, July.
  8. Whinston, Michael D., 2007. "Antitrust Policy toward Horizontal Mergers," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  9. Volodymyr Bilotkach, 2011. "Multimarket Contact and Intensity of Competition: Evidence from an Airline Merger," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Hüschelrath, Kai & Müller, Kathrin, 2011. "Patterns and effects of entry in US airline markets," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-059, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Bittlingmayer, George, 1990. "Efficiency and entry in a simple airline network," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 245-257, June.
  13. Brueckner, Jan K. & Spiller, Pablo T., 1991. "Competition and mergers in airline networks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 323-342, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Jan K. Brueckner & Yimin Zhang, 2001. "A Model of Scheduling in Airline Networks: How a Hub-and-Spoke System Affects Flight Frequency, Fares and Welfare," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 195-222, May.
  16. Michael Mazzeo, 2003. "Competition and Service Quality in the U.S. Airline Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 275-296, June.
  17. Hendricks, Ken & Piccione, Michele & Tan, Guofu, 1995. "The Economics of Hubs: The Case of Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 83-99, January.
  18. 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.
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