## von Neumann's 4-player {1/3, 1/3, -1/3, -1/3} imputation

In Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, von Neumann discusses solutions to some kinds of zero-sum four-person games. See section 37.4.2, page 317. There, he finds that one set of imputations is incomplete, and must have at least another imputation added to it. He writes that [it] seems very difficult to find a heuristic motivation for the steps which are now necessary

before giving the imputation as:

The situation is unusual in that the first three players have formed a coalition against the fourth. So, why does the third player have the same loss as the fourth? This is the heuristic that von Neumann didn’t provide, and he concludes by saying only that [if] a common-sense interpretation of this solution… is wanted, … it seems to be some kind of compromise between a part (two members) of a possible victorious coalition and the other two players.

However, there’s an intriguing possibility.

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