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Auctions for Split-Award Contracts


  • Martin Perry

    () (Rutgers University)

  • Jozsef Sakovics

    () (University of Edinburgh)


The buyer of a homogeneous input employs split-award contracting to divide his input requirements into two contracts that are awarded to different suppliers. The buyer uses a sequential second-price auction to award a larger primary contract and a smaller secondary contract. With a fixed number of suppliers participating in the auctions, we find that the buyer pays a higher expected price than with a sole-source auction. The premium paid to the winner of the secondary contract must also be paid to the winner of the primary contract as an opportunity cost of not winning the secondary contract. With fixed costs of participating in the auction, we identify the conditions under which a secondary contract can increase the number of suppliers and lower the expected price paid by the buyer. An optimal secondary contract can internalize the cost reductions from the new industry capacity and extract the rents of the suppliers. An optimal secondary contract can be particularly beneficial when the number of suppliers is limited by high fixed costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Perry & Jozsef Sakovics, 2002. "Auctions for Split-Award Contracts," Departmental Working Papers 200204, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200204

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
    2. Waehrer, Keith & Perry, Martin K, 2003. " The Effects of Mergers in Open-Auction Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 287-304, Summer.
    3. Waehrer, Keith, 1999. "Asymmetric private values auctions with application to joint bidding and mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 437-452, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gong, Jiong & Li, Jianpei & McAfee, R. Preston, 2012. "Split-award contracts with investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 188-197.
    2. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:6:p:969-996 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jose Alcalde & Matthias Dahm, 2016. "Proportional payoffs in legislative bargaining with weighted voting: a characterization," Discussion Papers 2016-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Roman Inderst & Greg Shaffer, 2007. "Retail Mergers, Buyer Power and Product Variety," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 45-67, January.
    5. Sarah Parlane & Ying-Yi Tsai, 2013. "Optimal Contract Orders and Relationship-Specific Investments in Vertical Organizations," Working Papers 201316, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Bergman , Mats A. & Granlund, David & Rudholm, Niklas, 2016. "Squeezing the last drop out of your suppliers: an empirical study of market-based purchasing policies for generic pharmaceuticals," Umeå Economic Studies 921, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    7. Alcalde, Jose & Dahm, Mathias, 2016. "Dual Sourcing with Price Discovery," QM&ET Working Papers 16-1, University of Alicante, D. Quantitative Methods and Economic Theory.
    8. Milliou Chrysovalantou, 2008. "Technological Proximity and Exclusive Buyer-Supplier Relationships," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, July.
    9. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2013. "Competition for procurement shares," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 193-208.
    10. Bichler, Martin & Schneider, Stefan & Guler, Kemal & Sayal, Mehmet, 2011. "Compact bidding languages and supplier selection for markets with economies of scale and scope," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(1), pages 67-77, October.
    11. Tunay I. Tunca & Qiong Wu, 2009. "Multiple Sourcing and Procurement Process Selection with Bidding Events," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(5), pages 763-780, May.
    12. Bergman, Mats & Granlund, David & Rudholm, Niklas, 2016. "Squeezing the last drop out of your suppliers: an empirical study of market-based purchasing policies for generic pharmaceuticals," HUI Working Papers 116, HUI Research.
    13. Milliou, Chrysovalantou, 2004. "Exclusive dealing and compatibility of investments," UC3M Working papers. Economics we044919, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.

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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions


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