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For example, in some sports, the use performance enhancing drugs is considered undesirable, but it is difficult or impossible to be competitive unless you use performance enhancing drugs. So, the use of performance enhancing drugs becomes this sort of undesirable dominant strategy that is a struggle to control.

Other examples abound. Is there a succinct term in the economics field for such phenomena?

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A game outcome that is Pareto optimal or Pareto efficient is one where no one player can be made better off without making at least one player worse off. So a Nash equilibrium can easily be Pareto sub-optimal (or Pareto inefficient), which means that it is possible to one player can be made better off without making at least one player worse off. However, "The interesting thing about the prisoner’s dilemma is that all options are Pareto optimal except for the unique equilibrium, which is for both to defect."

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah yes! It is just a prisoner's dilemma isn't it? $\endgroup$ – Scott Jan 18 at 18:02

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