Three essays on operations management : commodity market, sustainability, and globalization
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This dissertation deals with three issues that are important to many firms, namely, volatile commodity prices, environmental regulations, and globalization. In the first essay I study the benefit and the coordination of inventory sharing when there are two existing channels for procurement, i.e., the spot and forward markets. I propose a method for sharing inventory such that the decentralized firms get the same benefit per unit of the sharing transactions regardless of whether the firm is borrowing or lending. The procurement cost gap between the centralized and decentralized cases is dramatically small by using this method. In the second essay, I analyze whether imposing carbon costs to retailers and consumers changes the supply chain design or social welfare. I consider three types of players who want to maximize different objectives and three kinds of competitive settings. Different from previous studies, I show that the supply chain design is changed significantly by imposing carbon costs especially when market competition is medium to high. In the third essay, I consider long-term / short-term strategies of multi-national corporations. For the long-term strategy, I show that the correlation between the exchange rate and the market demand in a foreign country affects plant location. For the short-term strategy, I show that manufacturers increase the inventory levels as the exchange rate of the country where the plant is located grows weaker. I confirm these results empirically using plant-level data of Korean multi-national corporations provided by the Export-Import Bank of Korea.