Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009

Publication Title

International Journal of Production Economics





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Last Page



Scope economies, Multi-client outsourcing, Game models, Subgame perfect equilibrium


Two game models are developed based on production costs and scope economies to investigate the widely observed multi-client outsourcing (MCO) phenomenon. Analytical results demonstrate that outsourcers’ high in-house production costs and the advantage of scope economies motivate firms to outsource collectively to an independent vendor. Under certain conditions, if both firms make their outsourcing decisions simultaneously, collective outsourcing is one of the two equilibria; if both firms make decisions sequentially, collective outsourcing becomes the unique equilibrium. Furthermore, the comparative statics of the critical degree of scope economies are examined for the occurrence of MCO with regard to diverse market parameters. Finally, it is proved that market prices decrease as the degree of scope economies increases when MCO occurs. This research helps explain some widely observed phenomena such as malls, supply chain cities, and the China price.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Production Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Production Economics, 121, 1, (2009)

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