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Fairness in Selling to the Newsvendor

Xiaole Wu

Fudan University - School of Management

Julie Niederhoff

Syracuse University

November 20, 2013

This paper studies the impact of fairness concerns on supply chain performance in the two-party newsvendor setting. We extend prior fairness analysis to a wide range of demand distributions, and also allow the degree and definition of fairness to assume a broader range of preferences than those in prior literature. Contrary to prior literature, we find that if the retailer's ideal allocation to the supplier is not sufficiently large, regardless of demand variability, a fair-minded retailer makes no difference to system efficiency when facing a traditional profit-maximizing supplier. Only when the retailer's ideal allocation to the supplier is above a threshold can the retailer's fairness concern improve the system efficiency for sufficiently high demand uncertainty. In order for the retailer's fairness concern to improve expected profits of both parties compared to the traditional supply chain case (win-win), the demand uncertainty cannot be too low, the retailer is not very averse to disadvantageous inequity, and his ideal allocation to the supplier is within a specific range. If only the supplier is concerned for fairness, the results range from worsening to improving (but not coordinating) the system and a win-win situation is impossible. Finally, when both the supplier and retailer are fair-minded, the supply chain performance is improved unless both parties prefer to allocate small portions of system profit to the other. Again, win-win will be achieved only when the demand uncertainty is sufficiently high, the retailer's ideal allocation is within a certain range, and he is not very averse to disadvantageous inequity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Supply Chain Management, Modeling Behavioral Preferences, Incentives and Contracts

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Date posted: October 10, 2012 ; Last revised: December 9, 2013

Suggested Citation

Wu, Xiaole and Niederhoff, Julie, Fairness in Selling to the Newsvendor (November 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2159892 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2159892

Contact Information

Xiaole Wu
Fudan University - School of Management ( email )
No. 670, Guoshun Road
No.670 Guoshun Road
Shanghai, 200433
Julie Niederhoff (Contact Author)
Syracuse University ( email )
900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States
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