Airline Code-share Alliances and Costs: Imposing Concavity on Translog Cost Function Estimation

Airline Code-share Alliances and Costs: Imposing Concavity on Translog Cost Function Estimation This paper provides an assessment of how airline code-share alliances affect the costs of the airline industry. It makes two contributions to the literature. First, it measures the effects of airline alliances by estimating a translog cost function using a panel dataset of 10 major U.S.-based airlines over 29 quarters. Secondly, it ensures concavity of the estimated cost function by using the procedure suggested by Ryan and Wales (2000, Economics Letters 67, 253–260). A conventional translog cost function is first estimated and scale estimates are computed. Unfortunately, the estimated function fails the curvature requirement, which makes interpreting the estimated effects of alliances somewhat dubious. Hence, we re-estimate the cost function by imposing local concavity restrictions. We find that large alliance partners have a small negative effect on airlines’ costs, but small alliance partners’ effect on costs appear to be positive, although the magnitude is negligible. We also find material differences in the estimates of scale economies after imposing local concavity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Airline Code-share Alliances and Costs: Imposing Concavity on Translog Cost Function Estimation

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-005-0223-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper provides an assessment of how airline code-share alliances affect the costs of the airline industry. It makes two contributions to the literature. First, it measures the effects of airline alliances by estimating a translog cost function using a panel dataset of 10 major U.S.-based airlines over 29 quarters. Secondly, it ensures concavity of the estimated cost function by using the procedure suggested by Ryan and Wales (2000, Economics Letters 67, 253–260). A conventional translog cost function is first estimated and scale estimates are computed. Unfortunately, the estimated function fails the curvature requirement, which makes interpreting the estimated effects of alliances somewhat dubious. Hence, we re-estimate the cost function by imposing local concavity restrictions. We find that large alliance partners have a small negative effect on airlines’ costs, but small alliance partners’ effect on costs appear to be positive, although the magnitude is negligible. We also find material differences in the estimates of scale economies after imposing local concavity.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 6, 2005

References

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