A three-step solution to the two-envelope paradox

Igor Douven

Abstract


The two-envelope paradox is a paradox in game theory. This paper offers a solution to it in three steps. The first step is to recognize that the paradox is dependent on how one represents the game-theoretic situation that gives rise to it. In the second step, we note that the representation used in the paradox violates a familiar symmetry requirement. And in the third, we derive the solution from the symmetry requirement plus the given that we are dealing with a zero-sum game.

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