قیمت گذاری انتقالی استراتژیک، هزینه یابی جذب و مقادیر ویژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|17063||2000||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 11, Issue 3, September 2000, Pages 327–348
This paper analyses the use of transfer pricing as a strategic device in divisionalized firms facing duopolistic price competition. When transfer prices are observable, both firms’ headquarters will charge a transfer price above the marginal cost of the intermediate product to induce their marketing managers to behave as softer competitors in the final product market. When transfer prices are not observable, strategic transfer pricing is not an equilibrium and the optimal transfer price equals the marginal cost of the intermediate product. As a strategic alternative, however, the firms can signal the use of transfer prices above marginal cost to their competitors by a publicly observable commitment to an absorption costing system. The paper identifies conditions under which the choice of absorption costing is a dominant strategy equilibrium.
A common problem for vertically integrated firms is the coordination of activities among divisions in order to achieve an efficient allocation of resources within the organization. This task typically involves the determination of transfer prices for those goods and services that are exchanged at the divisional level. According to Hirshleifer (1956) the transfer pricing problem is solved by setting the transfer price equal to the marginal cost of the intermediate product. Although this well-known result seems widely accepted from a theoretical point of view, there is sufficient empirical evidence that firms are frequently using full cost-based transfer prices instead. 1 This study offers a theoretical explanation for the existing gap between accounting theory and company 328 R. F. G ̈ ox practice by providing a model of two competing hierarchies that gives rise to a strict preference for full cost-based transfer prices. In particular, the basic model considers two divisionalized fi rms facing price competition on the fi nal product market. In this setting the optimal transfer price does not equal marginal cost because its main function is to serve as a commitment device vis- ́ a-vis the competitor. Namely, by charging transfer prices above marginal cost of the intermediate product both fi rms can commit their marketing managers to behave as softer competitors on the fi nal product market. Accordingly, the resulting equilibrium pro fi ts strictly exceed the pro fi ts attainable under marginal cost-based transfer pricing. To understand the intuition behind this result, consider the usual incentive structure in divisionalized fi rms when the fi rms ’ headquarters delegate the responsibility of pricing decisions to divisional managers and evaluate the agents ’ performance by their divisional pro fi ts. Since the transfer prices are exogenous parameters of the agents ’ pro fi t maximization problems, the fi rms ’ headquarters can commit their managers to the desired pricing strategies by adjusting the transfer prices accordingly. Moreover, since both fi rms have an incentive to raise their transfer prices strategically, there exists a unique non-cooperative equilibrium in which both fi rms charge transfer prices above the marginal cost of the intermediate product. Conversely, centralized fi rm could not credibly commit themselves to the agents ’ equilibrium strategies because the marginal cost of the intermediate goods are exogenous parameters of the fi rms ’ decision problems. In other words, choosing the managers ’ equilibrium strategy would not be a pro fi t-maximizing strategy for centralized fi rms. Also, the fi rms could not simply replace strategic transfer pricing by mandating fi nal product market prices because announcing a price schedule different from the pro fi t-maximizing prices of the centralized fi rm would not be an equilibrium. 2 One may, however, consider secret pricing agreements between the fi rms as an alternative collusion device. However, since cartel contracts are illegal and tacit collusion usually provides incentives to cheat, owner-managed fi rms will generally be con fi ned to act as non-cooperative players in the pricing game on the fi nal product market. 3 Thus, strategic transfer pricing also implies a strict preference for the delegation of competencies to managers over centralized decision-making, whereas both alternatives would lead to equivalent outcomes in the classical Hirshleifer setting. The basic concept of strategic transfer pricing has, however, one fundamental weakness that also applies to most of the models reviewed in the next section. As pointed out by Katz (1991) and Bagwell (1995), unobservable contracts cannot serve as credible precommitments unless they are employed for other than strategic reasons. This observation limits the direct use of strategic transfer pricing to the case of observable transfer prices. Although it may be reasonable to assume that the fi rms in a small industry do know their competitor ’ s transfer prices, it seems promising to identify strategic alternatives when the transfer prices are not common knowledge because establishing transfer prices above marginal cost would be bene fi cial for both fi rms. In the last part of this paper it is demonstrated that a publicly observable commitment to an absorption costing system may create the desired managerial incentives because