June 12: Alexander Usvitskiy (QSMS Seminar)

Alexander Usvitskiy (HSE University) will present the paper “Support Networks in Contests ” (with Anastasia Antsygina, Mariya Teteryatnikova, James Tremewan) on June 12th, 2024, at 10:30 AM, in room QA406.


Many real-life competitive environments allow for a third party to be indirectly involved in the competition through supporting one or both conflicting parties. Such support can come from trade partners, colleagues, or allies, who can in turn benefit from the supported party’s success. In this paper we model such environments by introducing a two-stage game, in which two competing players have an opportunity to form pairwise support links with the third player before proceeding to the contest stage. We analyze under what conditions agents have incentives to form support links in view of the future conflict, what networks (if any) can be pairwise stable, and how the structure of support network affects players’ individual and total efforts in the contest. Our main result is that stable network connectivity is nonmonotone in the supporter’s benefit from the supported party’s success. Specifically, we find that as the benefit increases, network connectivity rises as linking becomes more attractive to the supporter, but then it falls as linking becomes less attractive to the competing players – the comparative statics which we test with a laboratory experiment.