Article | RAND Journal of Economics | winter 1989

Split-Awards Procurement and Innovation

by James J. Anton and Dennis A. Yao


In many procurement settings, it is possible for a buyer to split a production award between suppliers. In this article, we develop a model of split-award procurement auctions in which the split choice is endogenous. We characterize the set of equilibrium bids and allocations for optimizing agents in an environment in which suppliers are fully informed about each other's costs. Split-award equilibria simultaneously exhibit strong collusive features and cost-efficiency properties. Despite the former property of the equilibria, upstream investment considerations may lead a buyer to prefer a split-award auction format to a winner-take-all auction format.

Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Auctions; Bids and Bidding; Cost; Supply Chain; Investment; Balance and Stability;


Anton, James J., and Dennis A. Yao. "Split-Awards Procurement and Innovation." RAND Journal of Economics 20, no. 4 (winter 1989): 538–552. (Harvard users click here for full text.)