zero-sum game


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zero-sum game

[′zir·ō ¦səm ‚gām]
(mathematics)
A two-person game where the sum of the payoffs to the two players is zero for each move.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

zero-sum game

any game or analogous social situation in which what one player or side loses the other gains (Von Neumann and Morgenstein, 1947). See also THEORY OF GAMES, PRISONERS’ DILEMMA.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Raila should have known he was engaging in a zero-sum game when he opted for the handshake.
That's the defining feature of populism, zero-sum games. Left unchecked, rampant populism will, without exception, result in situations where the gain of one party is at the loss of the other, which paradoxically sounds a lot like the Hobbesian state of nature where men were to ensure their survival against the survival of others.
A zero-sum game is simply 'a situation in which one person's gain is equivalent to another's loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero.'
It is, however, virtually certain that the zero-sum game would lead to another failure.
Communities have been balkanised as politics is reduced to a zero-sum game.
Breaking the Zero-Sum Game: Transforming Societies Through Inclusive Leadership
"Outside of vague moral notions and Manichean fables, truth was, in reality, no use at all," muses a character on his deathbed, in Eduardo Rabasa's ambitious, oft-hilarious political farce, A Zero-Sum Game. Absurdly surreal lines like this abound in the trenchant satire, and in an American election year like none before, this translation of a Mexican novel resonates as eerily prophetic.
There's no zero-sum game here, Spokesman Mark Toner told a regular briefing at the State Department, responding to a question about the recent remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi he made during his 3-day visit to Washington this week.
John Hailer, Head of international distribution and chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management Americas and Asia, said, "In the current market, traditional asset allocation has become a zero-sum game. An investment approach that's fit for modern markets is needed.
IN SIMPLE TERMS, a zero-sum game is one in which the victories of one competitor are exactly matched by the losses of another.
And while delayed and nonlinear viewing have somewhat lessened the importance of lineups--"Network scheduling isn't a zero-sum game anymore," said Kelly Kahl, CBS senior evp, prime time--here are the biggest face-offs that advertisers, and network execs, will be keeping their eyes on come September.
Corruption may very well be one of the most blatant expressions of inequality in our society, a long-running zero-sum game whose stakes keep getting higher." World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim stated.