zero-sum game

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zero-sum game

A game in which the sum of the wins is equal to the sum of the losses. In such a game, every victory by one party results in equivalent losses by other participants.
References in periodicals archive ?
But because politics is frequently a zero sum game, when a group organizes and wins itself some favorable treatment--a tax break, a subsidy, whatever--it is taking something from another group.
Whites see racial equality as a zero sum game, in which gains for one group mean losses for the other.
a zero sum game approach--to a balanced relationship between job flexibility and security in studies of best practices and lessons from Australia, Canada, and Denmark.