AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Spiteful Bidding in the Dollar Auction
Marcin Waniek, Agata Nieścieruk, Tomasz Michalak, Talal Rahwan

Last modified: 2015-06-22

Abstract


Shubik's (all-pay) dollar auction is a simple yet powerful auction model that aims to shed light on the motives and dynamics of conflict escalation. Common intuition and experimental results suggest that the dollar auction is a trap, inducing conflict by its very design. However, O'Neill proved the surprising fact that, contrary to the experimental results and the intuition, the dollar auction has an immediate solution in pure strategies, i.e., theoretically it should not lead to conflict escalation. In this paper, inspired by the recent literature on spiteful bidders, we ask whether the escalation in the dollar auction can be induced by meanness. Our results confirm this conjecture in various scenarios.

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