Bargaining power and revenue distribution in the Costa Rican mango supply chain

G. Zúñiga-Arias, S.A. Meijer, R. Ruben, G.J. Hofstede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


By the time a European consumer eats a Costa Rican mango, the product has been traded in several transactions between producers, traders, retailers and consumers. This paper investigates the position of Costa Rican smallholders in the mango supply chain in terms of bargaining power and revenue distribution. It examines data derived using a specially developed research tool: the Mango Chain Game (MCG), a gaming simulation that mimics the negotiation conditions in the Costa Rican mango supply chain. The MCG defines roles for all agents in the chain and records transaction attributes. Five sessions with the MCG were played with different groups of mango producers, resulting in a data set of 82 transactions and 43 bargaining power positions. Bargaining power was assessed at a 10-point Likert scale. Revenue distribution was measured in terms of value added. The results show that self-perceived bargaining power was dependent on negotiation skills, wealth and good partnership of the negotiators, but independent of market imperfections. Revenue distribution was related to the bargaining power of the trading partner, risk perception and the duration of the contract. Conclusions include that using a gaming simulation as data source can help identify less tangible issues in supply chain research, which is a new field of application for gaming simulations. Agency cooperation, skills and being able to bear risks play a role for improving the efficiency of the mango supply chain in Costa Rica as seen from a producers' perspective. The gaming results indicate that initiatives for improving the bargaining power of producers are more promising if they focus on improving skills and relations in trade rather than on solving market imperfections
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-160
JournalJournal on Chain and Network Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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