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The Quasi-Judicial Role of Large Retailers : An Efficiency Hypothesis of their Relation with Suppliers

  • Benito Arrunada

[eng] The paper explores the hypothesis that large retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour, play a quasi-judicial role in their relationships with suppliers, adjusting the terms of trade to on-going changes and sanctioning performance failures. Potential abuse of their position is limited by the need for re-contracting and preserving their reputations. Suppliers renew their confidence in their retailers on a yearly basis, through writing new contracts. This renovation challenges the assertion that suppliers are expropriated by large retailers as a consequence of specific investments. [fre] Le papier explore l'hypothèse que les grands distributeurs, comme Wal Mart et Carrefour, jouent un rôle quasi-judiciaire dans leurs relations avec leurs fournisseurs, en adaptant les termes de leurs échanges aux changements qui surviennent et en sanctionnant les défaillances. Les abus potentiels de cette position sont limités par le besoin qu 'ont les distributeurs de re-contracter et de préserver leurs réputations. Les fournisseurs renouvellent leur confiance dans leurs distributeurs sur une base annuelle en rédigeant de nouveaux contrats. Ce renouvellement des contrats contredit l'hypothèse que les fournisseurs sont expropriés par les grands distributeurs en raison de l'existence d'investissements spécifiques.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/rei.2000.1052
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File URL: http://www.persee.fr/articleAsPDF/rei_0154-3229_2000_num_92_1_1052/rei_0154-3229_2000_num_92_1_1052.pdf?mode=light
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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 92 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 277-296

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2000_num_92_1_1052
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2000.1052
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/rei

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  1. Kandel, Eugene, 1996. "The Right to Return," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 329-56, April.
  2. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  3. Klein, Benjamin & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Vertical Integration as a Self-Enforcing Contractual Arrangement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 415-20, May.
  4. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  5. Masten, Scott E & Snyder, Edward A, 1993. "United States versus United Shoe Machinery Corporation: On the Merits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 33-70, April.
  6. Arrunada, Benito & Garicano, Luis & Vazquez, Luis, 2001. "Contractual Allocation of Decision Rights and Incentives: The Case of Automobile Distribution," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 257-84, April.
  7. Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "The Theory of the Firm and the Structure of the Franchise Contract," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 223-33, April.
  8. Klein, Benjamin, 1996. "Why Hold-Ups Occur: The Self-Enforcing Range of Contractual Relationships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 444-63, July.
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