Channel coordination between manufacturers and competing retailers with fairness concerns

Rikuo Yoshihara, Nobuo Matsubayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study provides a game-theoretic analysis for channel coordination of a two-tier supply chain in which retailers have fairness concerns. We explore a setting in which a single manufacturer sells its product to consumers through two competing retailers that are horizontally differentiated at varying levels. We extend the previous literature, which examines only monopolistic supply chains. We show that the channel can be successfully coordinated in equilibrium in that the total channel profit is maximized and the retailers do not incur disutility due to disadvantageous inequality, even if they are not averse to their advantageous inequality. Specifically, only if the retailers are moderately differentiated is a fair channel successfully achieved. In addition, we find that in a market in which a fair channel is coordinated in equilibrium, the retailers necessarily benefit from their fairness concerns. Furthermore, we investigate a situation in which the ideal distribution ratios between the channel members can be endogenously chosen prior to subsequent pricing stages. Interestingly, even if such endogenous choices are allowed for the retailers, a fair channel still can be coordinated in equilibrium. Specifically, the retailers set their ideal ratios in equilibrium at the lowest level in their feasible ranges of successful coordination. However, this results in the prisoner's dilemma, because if they were allowed to collude to set the ratios, the retailers would benefit the most from the highest level in the feasible ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 16


  • Behavioral economics
  • Game theory
  • Marketing–operations interface
  • Retailing
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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