Unimodality of price-setting newsvendor's objective function with multiplicative demand and its applications

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


We present a general solution framework for the price-setting newsvendor problem with a multiplicative stochastic demand. Under mild assumptions, such as increasing price elasticity on the mean demand function and increasing generalized failure rate on the distribution of the random factor, we first prove that both the profit function with respect to price and its derived function with respect to order quantity are quasi-concave. Three applications are then studied under our solution framework: (1) We consider a wholesale price only contract by which a manufacturer sets a wholesale price and a newsvendor determines an order quantity and the retail price, and show that the manufacturer's profit function is unimodal with respect to retailing price or stocking factor under certain conditions. (2) We consider a newsvendor problem in which the demand depends on both the retail price and the level of sales effort, and the cost exerting the sales effort is proportional to the order quantity; we prove that there exists a unique pair of price and sales-effort levels that maximize the total profit. This result is established under a set of mild assumptions on the demand and cost functions. (3) We identify a property in the single-period profit function that satisfies Condition 1 of Huh and Janakiraman (2008), which in turn guarantees the optimality of (s, S) policy for an infinite stationary dynamic inventory-price control system with lost sales and fixed order costs. Finally, the unimodality of the newsvendor problem with a general stochastic and price-sensitive demand is studied. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All right reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Failure rate, General failure rate, Inventory, Price-setting newsvendor