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Unobservable transfer price exceeds marginal cost when the manager is evaluated using a balanced scorecard

Jumpei Hamamura

Advances in accounting, 2019, vol. 44, issue C, 22-28

Abstract: This study investigates the optimal level of transfer prices chosen by managers in a divisionalized firm when they are evaluated based on a balanced scorecard. A unique assumption of our model is that transfer prices are unobservable to a competing firm's managers. In contrast to the findings in several studies that examine strategic transfer pricing, this research shows that a manager who is evaluated using a balanced scorecard chooses a transfer price that exceeds marginal cost given a market competitor in a specific economic environment. This result is caused mainly by our model's assumption that a manager considers the competitor's profit in his/her in decision-making when the objective is to maximize long-term profit. This study makes a significant contribution to the strategic transfer pricing literature by showing that even if the transfer price is unobservable to rivals, the optimal transfer price exceeds marginal cost when the final product market is characterized by price competition, something not shown in previous analytical accounting research.

Keywords: Strategic transfer pricing; Observability; Balanced scorecard; Price competition; Noncooperative game theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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