Contracting and Coordination Under Asymmetric Production Cost Information
Production and Operations Management, 21(2)345-260
36 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012
Date Written: March 9, 2010
We analyze a supply chain consisting of a supplier and a retailer. The supplier’s unit production cost, which characterizes his type, is only privately known to him. When trading with the retailer, the supplier demands a reservation profit that depends on his unit production cost. We model this problem as a game of adverse selection. In this model, the retailer offers a menu of contracts, each of which consists of two parameters: the ordering quantity and the supplier’s share of the channel profit. We show that the optimal contract depends critically on a surrogate measure. This measure represents the size of the outside market that the supplier may serve if not trading with the retailer. An important implication from our analysis is that information asymmetry alone does not necessarily induce loss in channel efficiency. The optimal contract can coordinate the supply chain as long as the size of the outside market is comparable to the quantities required by the retailer. We further discuss the retailer’s preference of the supplier’s type under different market conditions, as well as evaluate the effects of the supplier’s reservation profit, the retail price, and the demand uncertainty on the optimal contract.
Keywords: Asymmetric Information, Type-dependent reservation profits, Type-independent reservation profits, Coordination, Supply Contract, Adverse Selection, Contract theory
JEL Classification: M11, C61, C7, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation