The Impact of Demand Uncertainty on Consumer Subsidies for Green Technology Adoption
Forthcoming in Management Science
44 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014 Last revised: 11 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 8, 2014
This paper studies government subsidies for green technology adoption while considering the manufacturing industry's response. Government subsidies offered directly to consumers impact the supplier's production and pricing decisions. Our analysis expands the current understanding of the price-setting newsvendor model, incorporating the external influence from the government who is now an additional player in the system. We quantify how demand uncertainty impacts the various players (government, industry and consumers) when designing policies. We further show that for convex demand functions, an increase in demand uncertainty leads to higher production quantities and lower prices, resulting in lower profits for the supplier. With this in mind, one could expect consumer surplus to increase with uncertainty. In fact, we show this is not always the case and the uncertainty impact on consumer surplus depends on the trade-off between lower prices and the possibility of under-serving customers with high valuations. We also show that when policy makers such as governments ignore demand uncertainty when designing consumer subsidies, they can significantly miss the desired adoption target level. From a coordination perspective, we demonstrate that the decentralized decisions are also optimal for a central planner managing jointly the supplier and the government. As a result, subsidies provide a coordination mechanism.
Keywords: Government Subsidies, Green Technology Adoption, Newsvendor, Cost of Uncertainty, Supply Chain Coordination
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