Zero sum


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

Zero-Sum Game

A situation where the gain of one person equates to the loss of another person. That is, for every dollar one person makes in a zero sum transaction, another person loses a dollar. Not every transaction is a zero sum game; stock trading is not because some trades are mutually beneficial to the buyer and the seller. Options and commodity markets, however, are zero sum games because wealth cannot be created from these transactions, only shifted. See also: Wealth creation.

Zero sum.

A zero-sum market is one in which one investor's profit mirrors another investor's loss. For every dollar one person makes, someone else loses a dollar. Commodities and options markets are examples of zero-sum markets. Stock markets are not.

References in periodicals archive ?
Is your market a zero sum game with your customers?
We have replaced the old values of generosity, sharing, love of neighbor, and love of country with the values of a true Zero Sum Society: The almighty buck, instant celebrity, the quick fix, instant gratification, and great mistrust, cynicism, and even hatred for our government.
India neither sees Afghanistan as a battleground for competing national interests nor assistance to Afghan reconstruction and development as a zero sum game.
You can see why this sits easily with the Whitehall ethos, because most government activity is by its nature zero sum (you can only give with one hand what you are able to take away with another).
Khurshid has said that the proposed Equal Opportunity Commission will change the political language of the country from zero sum game of majority minority to equal opportunity for all.