Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Claudio Agostini (Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Economics) has posted The Industrial Organization of Air Transport in Chile.
ABSTRACT: Over the last 20 years, demand for air passenger transport has grown dramatically. At the same time, the two largest domestic airlines merged and several smaller entrants exited without being able to make significant inroads. As a result, the industry is highly concentrated, with a dominant firm and a few fringe firms. This condition has generated considerable public debate about the degree of competition in the airline industry in Chile. With the purpose of contributing to the public discussion, this paper analyzes the industry from an industrial organization point of view. Specifically, the paper describes the domestic airline industry in Chile, defines the relevant market and then analyzes both the degree of concentration and entry conditions. In particular, I focus on the roles played by vertical integration, the computer reservation systems and the revenue management practice. I then evaluate self-regulation of airfares by the dominant firm and propose several public policies to increase competition.