We consider a decentralized distribution channel where demand depends on the manufacturer-chosen quality of the product and the selling effort chosen by the retailer. The cost of selling effort is private information for the retailer. We consider three different types of supply contracts in this article: price-only contract where the manufacturer sets a wholesale price; fixed-fee contract where manufacturer sells at marginal cost but charges a fixed (transfer) fee; and, general franchise contract where manufacturer sets a wholesale price and charges a fixed fee as well. The fixed-fee and general franchise contracts are referred to as two-part tariff contracts. For each contract type, we study different contract forms including individual, menu, and pooling contracts. In the analysis of the different types and forms of contracts, we show that the price only contract is dominated by the general franchise menu contract. However, the manufacturer may prefer to offer the fixed-fee individual contract as compared to the general franchise contract when the retailer's reservation utility and degree of information asymmetry in costs are high.
- Information asymmetry
- Retailer effort
- Supply contracts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Science and Operations Research