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Decision making in the newsvendor problem: A cross-national laboratory study


  • Feng, Tianjun
  • Keller, L. Robin
  • Zheng, Xiaona


In this paper, we conduct a laboratory experiment using the classic newsvendor problem to examine cross-national differences in inventory ordering patterns between Chinese and American decision makers based on a theoretical examination of the role of the Doctrine of the Mean in Chinese decision making. Drawing on the theory of context-dependent preferences (specifically extremeness aversion), we also revisit the flat-maximum hypothesis of Bolton and Katok [12], i.e., "thinning the set of order options leads to newsvendor decisions that achieve a higher proportion of maximum expected profit." The results show that the "pull-to-center" effect is more prominent for Chinese than Americans, i.e., average order quantities of Chinese subjects are closer to the anchor of mean demand than those of American subjects. Furthermore, we find that thinning the set of order options such that the optimal order quantity is a middle option, not an extreme option in the choice set, leads to better performance in newsvendor decisions, which complements the flat-maximum hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng, Tianjun & Keller, L. Robin & Zheng, Xiaona, 2011. "Decision making in the newsvendor problem: A cross-national laboratory study," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 41-50, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:41-50

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yates, J. Frank & Lee, Ju-Whei & Bush, Julie G G., 1997. "General Knowledge Overconfidence: Cross-National Variations, Response Style, and "Reality"," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 87-94, May.
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    10. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok, 2008. "Learning by Doing in the Newsvendor Problem: A Laboratory Investigation of the Role of Experience and Feedback," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 519-538, September.
    11. Igbaria, M & Zviran, M, 1991. "End-user effectiveness: A cross-cultural examination," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 369-379.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arshavskiy V. & Okulov V. & Smirnova A., 2014. "Newsvendor Problem Experiments: Riskiness of the Decisions and Learning by Experience," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(5), pages 137-150, May.
    2. Chen, Xu & Hao, Gang & Li, Ling, 2014. "Channel coordination with a loss-averse retailer and option contracts," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 52-57.
    3. Lee, Peter K.C. & Cheng, T.C. Edwin & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Lai, Kee-hung, 2011. "An empirical study of transformational leadership, team performance and service quality in retail banks," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 690-701, December.
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:579-589 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chow, Pui-Sze & Wang, Yulan & Choi, Tsan-Ming & Shen, Bin, 2015. "An experimental study on the effects of minimum profit share on supply chains with markdown contract: Risk and profit analysis," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 57(PA), pages 85-97.
    6. Halkos, George & Kevork, Ilias, 2012. "Unbiased estimation of maximum expected profits in the Newsvendor Model: a case study analysis," MPRA Paper 40724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Arcelus, F.J. & Kumar, Satyendra & Srinivasan, G., 2012. "Risk tolerance and a retailer's pricing and ordering policies within a newsvendor framework," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 188-198, April.
    8. Hu, Benyong & Meng, Chao & Xu, Dong & Son, Young-Jun, 2016. "Three-echelon supply chain coordination with a loss-averse retailer and revenue sharing contracts," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 192-202.
    9. Xinsheng, Xu & Zhiqing, Meng & Rui, Shen & Min, Jiang & Ping, Ji, 2015. "Optimal decisions for the loss-averse newsvendor problem under CVaR," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 146-159.
    10. Strohhecker, Jürgen & Größler, Andreas, 2013. "Do personal traits influence inventory management performance?—The case of intelligence, personality, interest and knowledge," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 37-50.
    11. Schiffels, Sebastian & Fügener, Andreas & Kolisch, Rainer & Jens Brunner, O., 2014. "On the assessment of costs in a newsvendor environment: Insights from an experimental study," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-8.
    12. Banerjee, Pradeep K. & Turner, T. Rolf, 2012. "A flexible model for the pricing of perishable assets," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 533-540.
    13. Huang, Di & Zhou, Hong & Zhao, Qiu-Hong, 2011. "A competitive multiple-product newsboy problem with partial product substitution," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 302-312, June.
    14. Christian Köster & Heike Y. Schenk-Mathes, 2016. "Explanatory and predictive power of the adaptive learning model: average and heterogeneous behavior in a newsvendor context," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(4), pages 361-387, May.


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