Gonzalo Cisternas, Nicolas Figueroa. RAND Journal of Economics, 46, 824-843, 2015
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We characterize the optimal mechanism and investment level in an environment where (i) two projects of independent costs are purchased sequentially, (ii) the buyer can commit to a two‐period mechanism, and (iii) the winner of the first project can invest in a cost‐reducing technology between auctions. We show that, in an attempt to induce more competition in the first period, the optimal mechanism gives an advantage to the first‐period winner in the second auction. As a result of this advantage, the first‐period winner invests more than the socially efficient level. Optimal advantages, therefore, create two different channels for cost minimization in buyer‐supplier relationships.