, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 89–109 | Cite as

Trying to Resolve the Two-Envelope Problem

  • Casper J. AlbersEmail author
  • Barteld P. Kooi
  • Willem Schaafsma


After explaining the well-known two-envelope ‘paradox’ by indicating the fallacy involved, we consider the two-envelope ‘problem’ of evaluating the ‘factual’ information provided to us in the form of the value contained by the envelope chosen first. We try to provide a synthesis of contributions from economy, psychology, logic, probability theory (in the form of Bayesian statistics), mathematical statistics (in the form of a decision-theoretic approach) and game theory. We conclude that the two-envelope problem does not allow a satisfactory solution. An interpretation is made for statistical science at large.


Probability Theory Game Theory Mathematical Statistic Statistical Science Satisfactory Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Casper J. Albers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barteld P. Kooi
    • 1
  • Willem Schaafsma
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematics & Natural ScienceUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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