IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Decision Bias in the Newsvendor Problem with a Known Demand Distribution: Experimental Evidence

  • Maurice E. Schweitzer

    ()

    (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Gérard P. Cachon

    ()

    (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, www.duke.edu/~gpc)

Registered author(s):

    In the newsvendor problem a decision maker orders inventory before a one period selling season with stochastic demand. If too much is ordered, stock is left over at the end of the period, whereas if too little is ordered, sales are lost. The expected profit-maximizing order quantity is well known, but little is known about how managers actually make these decisions. We describe two experiments that investigate newsvendor decisions across different profit conditions. Results from these studies demonstrate that choices systematically deviate from those that maximize expected profit. Subjects order too few of high-profit products and too many of low-profit products. These results are not consistent with risk-aversion, risk-seeking preferences, Prospect Theory preferences, waste aversion, stockout aversion, or the consequences of underestimating opportunity costs. Two explanations are consistent with the data. One, subjects behave as if their utility function incorporates a preference to reduce ex-post inventory error, the absolute difference between the chosen quantity and realized demand. Two, subjects suffer from the anchoring and insufficient adjustment bias. Feedback and training did not mitigate inventory order errors. We suggest techniques to improve decision making.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.3.404.12070
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 404-420

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:3:p:404-420
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Louis Eeckhoudt & Christian Gollier & Harris Schlesinger, 1995. "The Risk-Averse (and Prudent) Newsboy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(5), pages 786-794, May.
    2. Kenneth L. Schultz & David C. Juran & John W. Boudreau & John O. McClain & L. Joseph Thomas, 1998. "Modeling and Worker Motivation in JIT Production Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-1), pages 1595-1607, December.
    3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    4. Ziv Carmon & J. George Shanthikumar & Tali F. Carmon, 1995. "A Psychological Perspective on Service Segmentation Models: The Significance of Accounting for Consumers' Perceptions of Waiting and Service," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1806-1815, November.
    5. John D. Sterman, 1989. "Modeling Managerial Behavior: Misperceptions of Feedback in a Dynamic Decision Making Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 321-339, March.
    6. Friedman, Daniel, 1998. "Monty Hall's Three Doors: Construction and Deconstruction of a Choice Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 933-46, September.
    7. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1991. "Increases in risk and deductible insurance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 435-440, December.
    8. John A. Carlson & Terrence B. O'Keefe, 1969. "Buffer Stocks and Reaction Coefficients: An Experiment with Decision Making under Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(4), pages 467-484.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:3:p:404-420. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.