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, 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 the celebrated Selfridge-Conway procedure, 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, but also reduces envy.

Kyropoulou, Maria, Josué Ortega und Erel Segal-Halevi (2019), Fair Cake-Cutting in Practice, in: Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 547-548. Download


Kyropoulou, Maria
Ortega, Josué
Segal-Halevi, Erel


cake-cutting; Selfridge-Conway; cut-and-choose; envy; perceived fairness; preference manipulation; experimentation and learning.