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Journal Articles

Supply Disruptions, Asymmetric Information, and a Backup Production Option

2009, Management Science

Z. Yang, Goker Aydin, V. Babich, D. Beil


We study a manufacturer that faces a supplier privileged with private information about supply disruptions. We investigate how risk-management strategies of the manufacturer change and examine whether risk-management tools are more or less valuable in the presence of such asymmetric information. We model a supply chain with one manufacturer and one supplier, in which the supplier's reliability is either high or low and is the supplier's private information. On disruption, the supplier chooses to either pay a penalty to the manufacturer for the shortfall or use backup production to fill the manufacturer's order. Using mechanism design theory, we derive the optimal contract menu offered by the manufacturer. We find that information asymmetry may cause the less reliable supplier type to stop using backup production while the more reliable supplier type continues to use it. Additionally, the manufacturer may stop ordering from the less reliable supplier type altogether. The value of supplier backup production for the manufacturer is not necessarily larger under symmetric information; for the more reliable supplier type, it could be negative. The manufacturer is willing to pay the most for information when supplier backup production is moderately expensive. The value of information may increase as supplier types become uniformly more reliable. Thus, higher reliability need not be a substitute for better information.


Yang, Z., G. Aydin, V. Babich, and D. Beil (2009), "Supply Disruptions, Asymmetric Information, and a Backup Production Option," Management Science, Vol. 55, No. 2, February, pp. 192-209.