Airport economics literature has recently included the supply of concession services among the factors that might affect airport pricing. In particular, there is only little empirical analysis on whether: (i) the supply of airport concession services can stimulate the demand for travel (two-side complementarity) and (ii) the demand for airport concession services is independent of traveling activities (welfare neutrality). In this chapter, we survey papers that have addressed two-side complementarity and welfare neutrality in airport concessions. Our goal is to discuss the different assumptions that have shaped the models and to collect evidences, facts and empirical findings that may support analytical hypotheses. We argue that the notions of two-side complementarity and welfare neutrality might be interrelated – especially when airports invest in concessions in the area accessible to non-passengers. Welfare gains should be assessed on a case by case basis, depending on the type of airport in terms of ownership, size (and the relative mass of connecting passengers compared to origin–destination passengers), and the source of concession revenues. Our arguments might be particularly relevant to policy makers who need to understand (i) whether the supply of concessions reduces or increases the benefits of airport (aviation) price regulation and (ii) whether the effective control of market power may require the regulation of the prices of both the businesses.
We thank Achim Czerny, Ricardo Flores-Fillol and Anming Zhang for constructive comments on first drafts of this chapter. We also express our gratitude to David Gillen, Robin Lindsey, Yulai Wan and Changmin Jiang for fruitful discussions on airport concessions through years.
D’Alfonso, T. and Bracaglia, V. (2017), "Two-Sidedness and Welfare Neutrality in Airport Concessions", The Economics of Airport Operations (Advances in Airline Economics, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 49-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2212-160920170000006003Download as .RIS
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