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Incentives for Retailer Forecasting: Rebates vs. Returns

Listed author(s):
  • Terry A. Taylor

    ()

    (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720)

  • Wenqiang Xiao

    ()

    (Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

Registered author(s):

    This paper studies a manufacturer that sells to a newsvendor retailer who can improve the quality of her demand information by exerting costly forecasting effort. In such a setting, contracts play two roles: providing incentives to influence the retailer's forecasting decision and eliciting information obtained by forecasting to inform production decisions. We focus on two forms of contracts that are widely used in such settings and are mirror images of one another: a rebates contract, which compensates the retailer for the units she sells to end consumers, and a returns contract, which compensates the retailer for the units that are unsold. We characterize the optimal rebates contracts and returns contracts. Under rebates, the retailer, manufacturer, and total system may benefit from the retailer having inferior forecasting technology; this never occurs under returns. Although one might conjecture that returns would be inferior because its provision of "insurance" would discourage the retailer from forecasting, we show that returns are superior.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1090.1045
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 1654-1669

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:10:p:1654-1669
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    1. Terry A. Taylor, 2006. "Sale Timing in a Supply Chain: When to Sell to the Retailer," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 23-42, November.
    2. Marshall Fisher & Kumar Rajaram, 2000. "Accurate Retail Testing of Fashion Merchandise: Methodology and Application," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 266-278, June.
    3. Barry Alan Pasternack, 1985. "Optimal Pricing and Return Policies for Perishable Commodities," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(2), pages 166-176.
    4. Karen L. Donohue, 2000. "Efficient Supply Contracts for Fashion Goods with Forecast Updating and Two Production Modes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1397-1411, November.
    5. 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.
    6. Terry A. Taylor, 2002. "Supply Chain Coordination Under Channel Rebates with Sales Effort Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(8), pages 992-1007, August.
    7. Hamilton Emmons & Stephen M. Gilbert, 1998. "Note. The Role of Returns Policies in Pricing and Inventory Decisions for Catalogue Goods," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(2), pages 276-283, February.
    8. V. Padmanabhan & I. P. L. Png, 1997. "Manufacturer's Return Policies and Retail Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(1), pages 81-94.
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