Throw One’s Cake — and Eat It Too
We consider the problem of fairly dividing a heterogeneous cake between a number of players with different tastes. In this setting, it is known that fairness requirements may result in a suboptimal division from the social welfare standpoint. Here, we show that in some cases, discarding some of the cake and fairly dividing only the remainder may be socially preferable to any fair division of the entire cake. We study this phenomenon, providing asymptotically-tight bounds on the social improvement achievable by such discarding.
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