Abstract

We investigate the effect of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry. Using panel data from 1993 to 2008, we find a nonmonotonic effect of competition on price dispersion. An increase in competition is associated with greater price dispersion in concentrated markets but with less price dispersion in competitive markets—an inverse-U relationship. Our empirical findings are consistent with an oligopolistic second-degree price discrimination model and encompass contradictory findings in the literature.

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