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The Price of Anarchy in Supply Chains: Quantifying the Efficiency of Price-Only Contracts

  • Georgia Perakis


    (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

  • Guillaume Roels


    (Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095)

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    In this paper, we quantify the efficiency of decentralized supply chains that use price-only contracts. With a price-only contract, a buyer and a seller agree only on a constant transaction price, without specifying the amount that will be transferred. It is well known that these contracts do not provide incentives to the parties to coordinate their inventory/capacity decisions. We measure efficiency with the price of anarchy (PoA), defined as the largest ratio of profits between the integrated supply chain (that is, fully coordinated) and the decentralized supply chain. We characterize the efficiency of various supply chain configurations: push or pull inventory positioning, two or more stages, serial or assembly systems, single or multiple competing suppliers, and single or multiple competing retailers.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1249-1268

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:8:p:1249-1268
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    1. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41.
    2. Frank Chen & Zvi Drezner & Jennifer K. Ryan & David Simchi-Levi, 2000. "Quantifying the Bullwhip Effect in a Simple Supply Chain: The Impact of Forecasting, Lead Times, and Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(3), pages 436-443, March.
    3. Fernando Bernstein & Awi Federgruen, 2005. "Decentralized Supply Chains with Competing Retailers Under Demand Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 18-29, January.
    4. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    5. Yunzeng Wang & Yigal Gerchak, 2003. "Capacity Games in Assembly Systems with Uncertain Demand," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(3), pages 252-267, January.
    6. Fernando Bernstein & Gregory A. DeCroix, 2004. "Decentralized Pricing and Capacity Decisions in a Multitier System with Modular Assembly," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(9), pages 1293-1308, September.
    7. Harish Krishnan & Roman Kapuscinski & David A. Butz, 2004. "Coordinating Contracts for Decentralized Supply Chains with Retailer Promotional Effort," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(1), pages 48-63, January.
    8. Ravi Anupindi & Yehuda Bassok, 1999. "Centralization of Stocks: Retailers vs. Manufacturer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(2), pages 178-191, February.
    9. Martin A. Lariviere & Evan L. Porteus, 2001. "Selling to the Newsvendor: An Analysis of Price-Only Contracts," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 3(4), pages 293-305, May.
    10. Fangruo Chen & Awi Federgruen & Yu-Sheng Zheng, 2001. "Coordination Mechanisms for a Distribution System with One Supplier and Multiple Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(5), pages 693-708, May.
    11. Gérard P. Cachon & Martin A. Lariviere, 2001. "Contracting to Assure Supply: How to Share Demand Forecasts in a Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(5), pages 629-646, May.
    12. Bryant, John, 1980. "Competitive Equilibrium with Price Setting Firms and Stochastic Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(3), pages 619-26, October.
    13. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347.
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