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No 1106:
Energy Efficiency Contracting in Supply Chains Under Asymmetric Bargaining Power

Ali Shantia, Sam Aflaki and Andrea Masini

Abstract: Evidence shows that suppliers refrain from investing in energy efficiency (EE) measures because they fear that a buyer with greater bargaining power will use the EE-related cost reductions to push prices down, in the purchase bargaining process, and thereby further reduce the supplier's profit margin. Suppliers are also discouraged from EE investment by the uncertainty associated with new technologies. These issues are studied via our model of the bargaining process, in a two-tier supply chain, between a single supplier and buyer; we analyze how the supplier's EE technology adoption is affected by the buyer's relative bargaining power and also by technology uncertainty. We compare various contracting arrangements commonly used in industry to overcome these obstacles, including price commitment by the buyer and shared investment contracts while characterizing their optimal properties with respect to different criteria - in particular, supply chain profit and the equilibrium level of EE investment. In terms of both criteria, we find that shared investment contracts perform better than price commitment contracts, although the latter increase supplier profit when a buyer's bargaining power is relatively high. We also show that, in a two-player model, the bargaining process between firms moderates how uncertainty affects supplier's investment behavior.

Keywords: Energy Efficiency; Supply chain coordination; Bargaining process; Technology uncertainty; (follow links to similar papers)

32 pages, September 13, 2015

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