NEWRY, Maine — A Finnish couple has added to their victories by taking first place in the North American Wife Carrying Championship at Maine’s Sunday River ski resort.

Taisto Miettinen and Kristina Haapanen traveled from Helsinki, Finland – where they won the World Wife Carrying Championship – for Saturday’s contest. The Sun Journal (bit.ly/Q30QWq) reports that the couple finished with a time of 52.58 seconds on a course that includes hurdles, sand traps and a water hole.

The winners receive the woman’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.

The model:  At date 0 each of N husbands decides how fat his wife should be.  At date 1 they run a wife-carrying race, where the husband’s speed is given by some function f(s,w) where s is the strength of the husband, and w is the weight of his wife.  The function f is increasing in its first argument and decreasing in the second. The winner gets K times his wife’s weight in cash and beer.  Questions

1. If the husbands are symmetric what is the equilibrium distribution of wife weights?
2. Under what conditions on f does a stronger husband have a fatter wife?
3. Derive the comparative statics with respect to K.