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Hybrid cooperation agreements in networks: The case of the airline industry

Xavier Fageda, Ricardo Flores-Fillol () and Bernd Theilen

International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2019, vol. 62, issue C, 194-227

Abstract: This paper develops a unified framework to analyze a continuum of hybrid cooperation agreements along two dimensions: their degree of revenue sharing (scope of alliances) and their degree of cost sharing (scope of joint ventures). The analysis focuses on the air transportation industry, distinguishing between interline and interhub markets. As economies of traffic density become stronger, we find that the socially optimal cooperation agreement moves from full alliance to joint venture in interline markets, whereas it moves from joint ventureto merger in interhub markets. These results are driven by the tradeoff between a procompetitive effect of alliances in interline markets and an anticompetitive effect in interhub markets, along with the efficiency gains associated with joint ventures in interhub markets. We also develop an empirical application for intercontinental routes for the period 2010–2016 that identifies a positive impact of deeper degrees of airline cooperation (revenue and cost sharing) on traffic, both in interline and interhub markets. Therefore, the potential anticompetitive effect of deeper alliances in interhub markets is not observed in our sample.

Keywords: Hybrid cooperation agreements; Airline industry; Alliances; Joint ventures; Mergers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L13 L22 L93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2017.10.008

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International Journal of Industrial Organization is currently edited by P. Bajari, B. Caillaud and N. Gandal

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:62:y:2019:i:c:p:194-227