Allocating Airport Slots - The History of Early Applied Experimental Research

The Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series, 2016-31

39 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2016  

Andrej Svorenčík

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 5, 2016

Abstract

The aviation industry changed dramatically in the wake of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. My paper looks at an element of this transformation – the policy according to which take off and landing slots were allocated at congested airports including a proposal to change this policy – an issue that affected millions of passengers annually. Caltech economists and experimentalists David Grether, Mark Isaac and Charles Plott were hired by the Civil Aviation Board to study the existing slot scheduling committees that used unanimity voting rule as well as alternative slot allocation mechanisms.

I use their study to trace and depict the emerging practice of applied experimental research as a multilayered endeavor which involves an interplay among theoretical, empirical, and practical considerations (akin to economic modeling) that allows the experimenter to move from the naturally occurring phenomenon to its study in a laboratory only to return back with a policy recommendation. This demonstrates that applied experimental economics research went hand in hand with the emergence and rise of experimental economics in the 1980s.

Keywords: applied economics, experimental economics, airport slot allocation, airline regulation

JEL Classification: B21, B31, C91, D47, L93

Suggested Citation

Svorenčík, Andrej, Allocating Airport Slots - The History of Early Applied Experimental Research (November 5, 2016). The Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series, 2016-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2864480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2864480

Andrej Svorenčík (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

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