The Red Queen Paradox: A proper name for a popular game

Elias L. Khalil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


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 is not the lack of an enforcer but rather the character of property as non-exclusively owned which typifies competition. (JEL: B 40, C 70, D 70).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

Cite this