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
References in periodicals archive ?
Let's not stay stuck in the zero-sum game. Let's create value by increasing benefit sales both by building success inside the market and by developing new markets.
(14) They saw the case as a zero-sum game. The majority of the Court disagreed, holding that, if Hobby Lobby's religious burden were alleviated, the burden on its female employees would be "precisely zero." (15) According to the Court, Hobby Lobby was not a zero-sum game.
Is how we spend our time really a zero-sum game where each incremental minute spent on one activity must detract from other options we have?
"But either way, it is not a zero-sum game. In the case of Wayne Rooney, if he had to pay his agent, he would just demand a higher salary.
In a hyper-competitive climate where lowball pricing has turned retailing into a zero-sum game, we must ask whether the industry has truly done everything to reinvent itself.
We must not place the committee members into a position of the zero-sum game that takes from one group to give to the other, an occurrence that happens after (by personal witness) the long and arduous process whereby grappling with the excellence of the proposals has been completed.
In their opinion, while it is possible to build the reputation of multiple institutions in the same marketplace, prestige is a zero-sum game. Prestige gained by one institution must be lost by another.
Achieving one's goals is not a zero-sum game I believed the "idols" who said that participating was reward enough, even if they did not win.
When power is exercised as a zero-sum game, those in authority build their power by taking it from those who have less possibility to resist.
The Farm Bill is a zero-sum game; money from one section must come from another.
"The archbishop makes a complex series of issues into a facile zero-sum game in which support for the Palestinian people must be matched with harsh, unjust and unfair condemnation of Israel."
It is rather comforting to know that the Nash equilibrium for a two-person zero-sum game corresponds to von Neumann's solution.