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Competition or Compensation: Supplier Incentives under the American and Japanese Subcontracting Systems

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  • Taylor, Curtis R
  • Wiggins, Steven N

Abstract

Two fundamentally different subcontracting systems arise as distinct solutions to the quality control problem facing an input buyer. The 'American' system involves competitive bidding on each contract, large orders, and inspections. The 'Japanese' system involves repeat purchases from a supplier who earns a premium, small orders, and no inspections. Both systems may coexist as local solutions, but the global optimum is determined by the ratio of set-up to inspection costs. This suggests that the adoption of flexible manufacturing equipment and rising product complexity may be responsible for the shift from the American to the Japanese system observed in many industries. Copyright 1997 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Taylor, Curtis R & Wiggins, Steven N, 1997. "Competition or Compensation: Supplier Incentives under the American and Japanese Subcontracting Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 598-618, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:87:y:1997:i:4:p:598-618
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2014. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100599, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Chih-Hai Yang & Ku-Hsieh Chen, 2009. "Are small firms less efficient?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 375-395, April.
    3. Rauch, James E. & Watson, Joel, 2003. "Starting small in an unfamiliar environment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1021-1042, September.
    4. Oliver Gürtler, 2010. "Haggling for Rents, Relational Contracts, and the Theory of the Firm," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 62(4), pages 359-377, October.
    5. Gal-Or, Esther, 2002. "Flexible manufacturing systems and the internal structure of the firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1061-1096, October.
    6. Terry A. Taylor & Erica L. Plambeck, 2007. "Supply Chain Relationships and Contracts: The Impact of Repeated Interaction on Capacity Investment and Procurement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(10), pages 1577-1593, October.
    7. Michael G. Jacobides & John Paul MacDuffie & C. Jennifer Tae, 2016. "Agency, structure, and the dominance of OEMs: Change and stability in the automotive sector," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9), pages 1942-1967, September.
    8. Sun, Jiong & Debo, Laurens, 2014. "Sustaining long-term supply chain partnerships using price-only contracts," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(3), pages 557-565.
    9. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    10. Leonardo Felli & Johannes Koenen & Konrad O. Stahl, 2011. "Competition and Trust: Evidence from German Car Manufacturers," CESifo Working Paper Series 3358, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Plambeck, Erica L. & Taylor, Terry A., 2004. "Partnership in a Dynamic Production System," Research Papers 1892, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    12. Branstetter, Lee, 2000. "Vertical Keiretsu and Knowledge Spillovers in Japanese Manufacturing: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 73-104, June.
    13. Erica L. Plambeck & Terry A. Taylor, 2006. "Partnership in a Dynamic Production System with Unobservable Actions and Noncontractible Output," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1509-1527, October.
    14. KWON Seokbeom & MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki, 2015. "How Institutional Arrangements in the National Innovation System Affect Industrial Competitiveness: A study of Japan and the United States with multiagent simulation," Discussion papers 15065, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    15. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Trust No One?: Security and International Trade," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7684, Inter-American Development Bank.
    16. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
    17. Yan Dong & Kefeng Xu & Yi Xu & Xiang Wan, 2016. "Quality Management in Multi-Level Supply Chains with Outsourced Manufacturing," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 25(2), pages 290-305, February.
    18. Miller, Andrew D. & Langley, Suchada V. & Chambers, William, 2003. "Current Issues Affecting Trade And Trade Policy: An Annotated Literature Review," Working Papers 14606, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    19. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2015. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 259-280.
    20. repec:kap:iaecre:v:11:y:2005:i:3:p:329-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Spencer, Barbara J & Qiu, Larry D, 2001. "Keiretsu and Relationship-Specific Investment: A Barrier to Trade?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 871-901, November.
    22. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Trust No One?: Security and International Trade," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94636, Inter-American Development Bank.
    23. Blonski, Matthias & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2002. "Relational Contracts and Property Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 3460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Khan, Tariqullah, 2000. "Islamic Quasi Equity (Debt) Instruments And The Challenges Of Balance Sheet Hedging: An Exploratory Analysis," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 7, pages 1-31.
    25. Tunay I. Tunca & Stefanos A. Zenios, 2006. "Supply Auctions and Relational Contracts for Procurement," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 43-67, February.

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