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Project Proposal

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Airline Competition

Qi Ge (Economics)

Project Description

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.

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY–Full remote (may change to hybrid as situation allows)

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

June 7, 2021

Project End Date

July 30, 2021