This paper tests whether, and to what extent, airlines exploit market captivity by using price discrimination strategies. The Italian passenger market is particularly fit for this purpose, given the high differentials in the degree of the inter-modal competition amongst domestic connections. Results show that, ceteris paribus, airlines adopt a different pricing behaviour depending on the degree of inter-modal market captivity. First, in highly con- centrated markets with respect to air competitors, airlines price higher when the inter-modal competition is limited. This proves that inter-modal market captivity strengthens the effect of market power. Second, the inter-temporal price discrimination leads to a J-shaped distribution of fares over time, which is more pronounced when the inter-modal competition is effective. This suggests that airlines need to adopt a pricing technique that allows for a greater market segmentation in order to compete successfully with high-speed rail transport and to extract a larger part of passengers’ surplus. These results are relevant in terms of transport-investment implications and competition policy. The indirect benefits that investments in rail infrastructure would yield through downward pressures on competing airline fares should be embedded in any cost-benefit analysis of high-speed networks investments and in any policy evaluation of measures that aim to reduce the territorial gaps in infrastructure endowment and accessibility

One price for all? Price discrimination and market captivity: Evidence from the Italian city-pair markets

BERGANTINO, Angela Stefania;CAPOZZA, CLAUDIA
2015-01-01

Abstract

This paper tests whether, and to what extent, airlines exploit market captivity by using price discrimination strategies. The Italian passenger market is particularly fit for this purpose, given the high differentials in the degree of the inter-modal competition amongst domestic connections. Results show that, ceteris paribus, airlines adopt a different pricing behaviour depending on the degree of inter-modal market captivity. First, in highly con- centrated markets with respect to air competitors, airlines price higher when the inter-modal competition is limited. This proves that inter-modal market captivity strengthens the effect of market power. Second, the inter-temporal price discrimination leads to a J-shaped distribution of fares over time, which is more pronounced when the inter-modal competition is effective. This suggests that airlines need to adopt a pricing technique that allows for a greater market segmentation in order to compete successfully with high-speed rail transport and to extract a larger part of passengers’ surplus. These results are relevant in terms of transport-investment implications and competition policy. The indirect benefits that investments in rail infrastructure would yield through downward pressures on competing airline fares should be embedded in any cost-benefit analysis of high-speed networks investments and in any policy evaluation of measures that aim to reduce the territorial gaps in infrastructure endowment and accessibility
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/159104
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