zero-sum game

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Zero-sum game

A type of game wherein one player can gain only at the expense of another player.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

zero-sum game

A situation in which one person's gain must be matched by another person's loss. Without considering taxes and transaction costs, many types of investing, such as options and futures, are examples of zero-sum games.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

zero-sum game

a situation in GAME

THEORY where game players compete for the given total pay-off, so that gains by one player are at the direct expense of the other player(s). For example, here two firms compete against each other in a mature market where total sales are not expanding, then each firm can increase its sales and market share only at the expense of its competitor.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005