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The Red Queen Paradox: A Proper Name for a Popular Game - Note


  • Elias L. Khalil


HOLM [1995] claims that the prisoners' dilemma story is dubious: Each prisoner may confess even when innocent. However, this apparent failing can be remedied. The story is dubious rather because it is already institution-bound (the trust which binds the prisoners) and, therefore, its range is limited. An alternative, institution-free story is the 'Red Queen Paradox' from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Red Queen Paradox highlights the reason behind the familiar suboptimal outcome of competition. The reason ist not the lack of an enforcer but rather the character of property as non-exclusively owned which typifies competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Elias L. Khalil, 1997. "The Red Queen Paradox: A Proper Name for a Popular Game - Note," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(2), pages 411-415, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199706)153:2_411:trqpap_2.0.tx_2-3

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Entrepreneurial Economist and the Red Queen Game
      by Paul in truck and barter on 2006-03-12 13:39:47


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Khalil, Elias L., 2011. "The mirror neuron paradox: How far is understanding from mimicking?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 86-96, January.
    2. Julia Sophie Woersdorfer, 2008. "From Status-Seeking Consumption to Social Norms. An Application to the Consumption of Cleanliness," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    3. Pies, Ingo, 2010. "Theoretische Grundlagen demokratischer Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik: Der Beitrag von William Baumol," Discussion Papers 2010-7, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    4. Mark Koyama, 2008. "Evading the 'Taint of Usury' Complex Contracts and Segmented Capital Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 412, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. William Baumol, 2002. "Towards microeconomics of innovation: Growth engine hallmark of market economics," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(1), pages 1-12, March.
    6. Paul M. Vaaler & Gerry McNamara, 2010. "Are Technology-Intensive Industries More Dynamically Competitive? No and Yes," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(1), pages 271-289, February.
    7. Pies, Ingo & Hielscher, Stefan, 2010. "Wirtschaftliches Wachstum durch politische Konstitutionalisierung: Ein ordonomischer Beitrag zur "conceptual history" der modernen Gesellschaft," Discussion Papers 2010-6, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    8. Julia Sophie Woersdorfer, 2010. "When Do Social Norms Replace Status‐Seeking Consumption? An Application To The Consumption Of Cleanliness," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 35-67, February.
    9. Ewing, Michael T. & Jevons, Colin P. & Khalil, Elias L., 2009. "Brand death: A developmental model of senescence," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 332-338, March.
    10. William J. Baumol, 2002. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Growth: The David-Goliath Symbiosis," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 7(2), pages 1-10, Summer.
    11. Smyth, Andrew & Rodet, Cortney S., 2023. "Cooperation in indefinite games: Evidence from red queen games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 208(C), pages 230-257.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General


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