Customer rebates and retailer incentives in the presence of competition and price discrimination

Ozgun Caliskan Demirag, Pinar Keskinocak, Julie Swann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Promotions are important tools for matching supply and demand in many industries. In the United States automotive industry, promotions are frequently offered, which may be given directly to customers (rebates) or given to dealers (incentives) to stimulate demand. We analyze the performance of customer rebate and retailer incentive promotions under competition. We study a setting with two manufacturers making simultaneous pricing and promotion decisions, and with two price-discriminating retailers as Stackelberg followers making simultaneous order quantity decisions. In the benchmark case with no promotions, we characterize the equilibria in closed form. We find that retailer incentives can be used by manufacturers to simultaneously improve each of their profits but can potentially lead to lower retailer profits. When manufacturers use customer rebates, we show that a manufacturer is able to decrease the profit of her competitor while increasing her own profit, although she is also at risk for her competitor to use rebates in a similar fashion. Unlike the monopoly case where the manufacturers are always better off with retailer incentives, customer rebates can be more profitable under some cases in the presence of competition. Using numerical examples we generate insights on the manufacturers' preference of promotions in different market settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-280
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 16 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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