Suppose that a parent brings home from a trip $2n$ gifts of roughly

equal value for his/her two children. The children get to choose one

at a time which gifts they want. What is the fairest way to do this?

For instance, if $n=1$ then clearly one child chooses first

(determined by a coin flip) and the other child chooses second. If we

denote the children by 0 and 1, then this method is described by the

choice sequence 01 (assuming, as I do from now on, that 0 choose

first). Now suppose $n=2$. The choice sequence 0101 is clearly biased

toward 0, since 0 has the first choice at the beginning and after both

have chosen one gift. The fairest sequence by any reasonable criterion

is 0110. What about general $n$? If $n=2^k$, an argument can be made

that the fairest sequence is the first $n$ terms of the Thue-Morse

sequence

(http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Thue-MorseSequence.html). Another

argument can be made that the fairest sequence $a_1,\dots, a_n$ is one

that maximizes the value of $k$ for which the polynomial

$(1-2a_1)x^{n-1} + (1-2a_2)x^{n-2}+\cdots+(1-2a_n)$ and its first $k$

derivatives vanish at $x=1$. (The Thue-Morse sequence does not have

this property, though I cannot recall where I once saw this.)

Has this problem received any attention? What is a reference for the

problem of maximizing $k$?