Dynamic Multi-Activity Contests

22 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2010

See all articles by Maria Arbatskaya

Maria Arbatskaya

Hugo M. Mialon

Emory University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 27, 2010


In many contests, players can influence the outcome through efforts in multiple activities, several of which can be chosen before others. In this paper, we develop a model of dynamic multi-activity contests. Players simultaneously choose efforts in long-run activities, observe each other’s efforts in these activities, and then simultaneously choose efforts in short-run activities. A player’s long-run and short-run efforts complement each other in determining the player’s probability of winning. We compare the outcomes of this two-stage model to those of the corresponding model in which players do not observe each other’s first-stage efforts before the second stage and thus effectively choose efforts in all activities simultaneously. Interestingly, effort expenditures are always lower in the sequential multi-activity contest than in the simultaneous multi-activity contest. The implications of this result for the organization of military, litigation, innovation, academic, and sporting contests are highlighted.

Keywords: Dynamic Multi-Activity Contests, Long Run, Short Run, Contest Success Function, Complementarity, Commitment, Rent Dissipation

JEL Classification: C72, D72

Suggested Citation

Arbatskaya, Maria and Mialon, Hugo M., Dynamic Multi-Activity Contests (July 27, 2010). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 10-120, Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-79, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1649779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1649779

Hugo M. Mialon (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )

1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

No contact information is available for Maria Arbatskaya

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