Asymmetric forecast information and the value of demand observation in repeated procurement

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In many supply chain relationships that continue over multiple periods, information about the hidden properties of the supply chain partners can be revealed throughout the course of the relationship. This article examines how the availability of such information affects the contracting scheme between a supplier and his manufacturer in a relationship that persists over several selling seasons. At the beginning of the first selling season, the manufacturer observes private information about the demand distribution, whereas the supplier who is less familiar with the market is endowed only with a prior belief about the market condition. When the supplier cannot observe the demand realization during the first selling period, she offers a contract that induces the manufacturer to reveal the market condition in the first selling season. However, the opportunity for the supplier to observe demand realization can result in the supplier offering the manufacturer a simple contract that does not induce the manufacturer to reveal his private information during the first selling season. In the latter case, the supplier observes the demand realization and designs the second period contract based on this information. We show that when the supplier chooses to offer such a contract, the manufacturer becomes worse-off, and it has an ambiguous effect on the performance of the supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-1020
Number of pages42
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Asymmetric Information
  • Repeated Games
  • Supply-Chain Contracting
  • Supply-Chain Coordination


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