Discussion paper

DP11113 Two-stage contests with effort-dependent rewards

We study two-stage all-pay contests where there is synergy between the stages. The reward for each contestant is fixed in the first stage while it is effort-dependent in the second one. We assume that a player's effort in the first stage either increases (positive synergy) or decreases (negative synergy) his reward in the second stage. The subgame perfect equilibrium of this contest is analyzed with either positive or negative synergy. We show, in particular, that whether the contestants are symmetric or asymmetric their expected payoffs may be higher under negative synergy than under positive synergy. Consequently, they prefer smaller rewards (negative synergy) over higher ones (positive synergy).


Sela, A (2016), ‘DP11113 Two-stage contests with effort-dependent rewards‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11113. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11113