The attack-and-defense group contests: Best-shot versus weakest-link

Subhasish Modak Chowdhury, Iryna Topolyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


This study analyzes a group contest in which one group (defenders) follows a weakest-link whereas the other group (attackers) follows a best-shot impact function. We fully characterize the Nash and coalition-proof equilibria and show that with symmetric valuation the coalition-proof equilibrium is unique up to the permutation of the identity of the active player in the attacker group. With asymmetric valuation it is always an equilibrium for one of the highest valuation players to be active; it may also be the case that the highest valuation players in the attacker group free-ride completely on a group-member with a lower valuation. However, in any equilibrium, only one player in the attacker group is active, whereas all the players in the defender group are active and exert the same effort. We also characterize the Nash and coalition-proof equilibria for the case in which one group follows either a best-shot or a weakest-link but the other group follows an additive impact function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548–557
Number of pages10
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • best-shot
  • weakest-link
  • perfect substitute
  • group contest
  • attack and defense
  • group-specific public goods
  • avoidance

Cite this