This experiment investigates contests between groups. Each group has one strong player, with a higher valuation for the prize, and two weak players, with lower valuations. In contests where individual efforts are perfect substitutes, all players expend significantly higher efforts than predicted by theory. In best-shot contests, where group performance depends on the best performer, most of the effort is expended by strong players while weak players free-ride. In weakest-link contests, where group performance depends on the worst performer, there is almost no free-riding and all players expend similar positive efforts conforming to the group Pareto dominant equilibrium.
Sheremeta, R.M. (2010). Perfect-substitutes, best-shot, and weakest-link contests between groups. ESI Working Paper 10-23. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/108
Working Paper 10-23