Fair Cake-Cutting in Practice

46 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2018

See all articles by Maria Kyropoulou

Maria Kyropoulou

University of Essex - Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents

Josue Ortega

Center for European Economic Research

Erel Segal-Halevi

Ariel University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 18, 2018


Using a lab experiment, we investigate the real-life performance of envy-free and proportional cake-cutting procedures with respect to fairness and preference manipulation. We find that envy-free procedures, in particular Selfridge-Conway and the symmetric and asymmetric versions of cut-and-choose, are fairer and also are perceived as fairer than their proportional counterparts, despite the fact that agents very often manipulate them. Our results support the practical use of these procedures, and more generally, of envy-free cake-cutting mechanisms.

We also find that subjects learn their opponents' preferences after repeated interaction and use this knowledge to improve their allocated share of the cake. Learning reduces truth-telling behavior and envy.

Keywords: cake-cutting, Selfridge-Conway, cut-and-choose, envy, perceived fairness, preference manipulation

JEL Classification: C71, C91, D63

Suggested Citation

Kyropoulou, Maria and Ortega, Josue and Segal-Halevi, Erel, Fair Cake-Cutting in Practice (October 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3269482 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3269482

Maria Kyropoulou

University of Essex - Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Josue Ortega (Contact Author)

Center for European Economic Research ( email )

L 7 1
Mannheim, 68161

HOME PAGE: http://www.josueortega.com

Erel Segal-Halevi

Ariel University ( email )


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