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Auctioning and Parenting


This blog post speaks about how Game Theory can be used for parenting. It shows methods of Game Theory that can be used to convince kids to “play fair” in a way that children can understand. One of the options is called “Auction” which is a method that allows the child with the highest bid of chores to get whatever they auctioned for such as, who gets to choose the tv show to watch tonight or who gets the first turn on the Ipad.

This is a very simple form of game theory or auction but shows how game theory can be applied to everyday life. When considering auctioning in a simple real life scenario, in the case of parenting the ascending-bid auction or the first-price sealed-bid auctions would be the best auction type for this type of auction held amongst siblings or children. Ascending-bid auction is the type of auction that is performed in real time and the sellers keep raising the price until only one bidder remains and then that final bidder gets whatever is being sold for the final price. First-price sealed-bid auctions are auctions where bidders have a set bid amount that they turn in without knowing what others turn in and then whoever bid the highest amount gets whatever is being sold at the price they turned in.

There are perks to using such auction methods to settle fights amongst children because of children cannot know what the other “bidders” or other children/siblings will bid, but are given equal chance to bid higher or lower “prices” or in this situation bid more difficult or more chores. This relates back to the game theory we learned in class because auctions have game theory qualities to look out for. One doesn’t want to bid anything that they would believe is too much work for themselves, while at the same time one doesn’t want to bid too low and lose the chance of actually being able to win the auction. This works out for the parent because as the rules of the auction are already set beforehand, the children cannot argue that the argument was unfair, which is said to be a common issue when parenting or deciding arguments amongst children. This is also a win win for the parent, as they can get the children to decide arguments on their own while also having children do chores and learn better the costs of things as well the skills of game theory to be applied to their own everyday life scenarios.

It is interesting to see the details and set rules of game theory and auction be related back to such simple situations in life and shows the importance of such theories in our daily lives.


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September 2018