Are You Prepared to Share? (Summer, 2018)

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Mathematics Department
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, NY 11451


web page:


The Free Lunch Foundation (FLF) offers two people X and Y the following opportunity one time only opportunity, the rules being carefully explained to both people (players).

X will be given $30 which X must split into two parts, one for X and the other for Y. X is not able to communicate or discuss with Y how Y looks at matters.

If Y accepts the amount Y is offered by X, then FLF gives X the $30 and the split is carried out. If Y does not accept what is offered them FLF gives X nothing, so neither X nor Y get anything. Again, both X and Y understand how the arrangement works.

Question 1

If you were offered the role of X how would you split the $30?

Question 2.

What do you think people when offered this opportunity actually do?

Question 3.

If you are X but someone made you the offer you decided on in Question 1 for Y (that is, you play the role of Y for now), would you (as Y) accept the offer you decided to make?

Question 4.

What "mathematical" advice would give to X and Y as to how to play this game?