a zero-sum game

zero-sum game

A situation, process, competition, or outcome in which the winner's gain is exactly equal to the loser's loss. Poker is a zero-sum game because the amount of money won by one player is equivalent to the amount lost by the other players.
See also: game

a zero-sum game

JOURNALISM
If a situation is a zero-sum game, the advantage that one person gains from it must have an equal disadvantage for someone else. The idea that foreign investment is a zero-sum game — that one country's gain is another's loss — is mistaken. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of game. According to Reed, employee benefits are a zero-sum gain. If costs for one benefit rise, it's often at the expense of another, such as paid vacation and health insurance. Note: A zero-sum game is one in which the winnings and losses of all the players add up to zero.
See also: game
References in periodicals archive ?
IN SIMPLE TERMS, a zero-sum game is one in which the victories of one competitor are exactly matched by the losses of another.
In a zero-sum game, one person's gain is another person's loss.
As economic historian John Nye has pointed out, even if competition for relative position is a zero-sum game, the increase in total wealth created by the productive investments of the wealthy benefits the poor.
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, said politics lately has become a zero-sum game.
In their opinion, while it is possible to build the reputation of multiple institutions in the same marketplace, prestige is a zero-sum game.
The shared P&L illustrates that it's a zero-sum game, so effective collaboration among different parts of the management team is vital.
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 misconception of international trade as a zero-sum game is already hard to overcome, but to give rich countries another excuse to drag their feet in fulfilling their commitments under the Uruguay Round agreement holds up further progress.
In a zero-sum game, one contestant can only succeed on the basis of another's failure.
The economy becomes a zero-sum game in which no one gains unless it comes at the expense of another.
Is the struggle between security and privacy a zero-sum game, or are they two sides of the same coin?
Making protectionism even worse is that the policy-induced transfer of wealth from American consumers to American producers is not a zero-sum game, where producer gains equal consumer losses.
But he charges them, falsely, with assuming that "we are faced with a zero-sum game.
He charges that "conventional economists [regard] the struggle for prosperity as a zero-sum game," that "traditional economics has always treated technology as a constant," and that while "an Alchemist creates wealth, an economist merely moves it around.