Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Airline Competition
The COVID-19 global pandemic presents the largest systematic and exogenous shock to the airline industry to date. This proposed project studies the impact of the pandemic on price and non-price competition in the U.S. airline industry. We will explore spatial and temporal variations of new cases, deaths and lockdown episodes and relate them to airline operations at route-level defined as directional airport pairs. Competition outcomes of particular interest include price dispersion (i.e., the dispersion of airfare on a given route), on-time performance, and routing decisions (i.e., entry/exit on a given route). The project will contribute to existing literature on airline competition, enhance our understanding of the economic impact of the pandemic, and help inform government policies such as industry-specific relief bills.
Anticipated Project Activities
Literature search, literature review, data collection (potentially web-scrapping based), data processing (cleaning and merging), and preliminary descriptive statistics and/or regression analyses.
Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills
Prior coursework in statistics and/or econometrics, microeconomic theory and/or advanced microeconomics, industrial organization; proficiency in LaTeX, Stata, R, Python; prior experience with web scrapping; strong time management skills and ability to multitask; attention to detail.
Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student
The student will share his/her summer research experience in my future ECON 102 Introduction to Economics class. The summer collaboration may also potentially lead to future co-authoring opportunity on the project.
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY–Full remote (may change to hybrid as situation allows)
Project Start Date
June 7, 2021
Project End Date
July 30, 2021