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Doing a Monty: Who Opened the Door to This Game for Economists?


  • David K. Round


The Monty Hall three-door, "Let's Make a Deal" game, named after the 1970s television show, is used widely in economics, econometrics, statistics, and game-theory-based teaching, as well as in many other disciplines. Its solutions and underlying assumptions arouse great passion and argument, in both the academic and popular press. Most economists believe that the first popular elucidation of the game was presented by Nalebuff in the Journal of Economic Literature . However, the game and its controversial solution were spelled out in The American Statistician years earlier by Selvin, at the time a young biostatistician at the University of California at Berkeley. Mathematicians give him due credit. The author argues that economists should also recognise his contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • David K. Round, 2007. "Doing a Monty: Who Opened the Door to This Game for Economists?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 248-252, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:38:y:2007:i:2:p:248-252
    DOI: 10.3200/JECE.38.2.248-252

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