Economic aspects of airport security measures
Santos, Alvaro K.
David R. Henderson.
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Airport security measures use very expensive equipment, and may keep passengers in line for several minutes. The time passengers spend in those lines can add up, and must be understood as time opportunity cost. In the 1970s, several airport security measures were adopted to help stop aircraft hijackings. In 1978, William M. Landes wrote the paper "An Economic Study of the U.S. Aircraft Hijacking, 1961-1976", in which he analyzed the expenditures associated with airport security measures. He concluded that the costs of the adopted measures were very high. While Landes concentrated on the monetary costs of airport security, this thesis concentrates on the estimating the opportunity costs of airport security measures for passengers -- their losses in terms of their time value. This thesis estimates that the hijacking-preventing impact of airport screening measures is insignificant, but the opportunity costs these measures impose on airline passengers are significant and greatly exceed the benefits produced.
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