An analysis of paperclip arbitrage
Document typeExternal research report
Rights accessOpen Access
While bartering is arguably the world's oldest form of trade there are still many instances where it surprises us. One such case is the remarkable story of Kyle MacDonald who, by means of a sequence of bartering exchanges between July 2005 and July 2006, managed to trade a small red paperclip for a full sized house in the town of Kipling Saskatchewan. Although there are many factors to consider in this achievement, his feat raises basic questions about the nature of the trades made and to what extent they are repeatable by others. Furthermore, it raises issues as to whether such events could occur in Agent–based Electronic Environments – and under what conditions. In this paper we provide an intuitive model for the type of trading environment experienced Kyle and study its consequences. In particular the work is focused on understanding whether such trading phenomena require altruistic agents to be present in the environment and under what conditions agents can reach their individual goals. Results cover both the case of a single
CitationCabanillas, D., Willmott, S., Cortés, C. "An analysis of paperclip arbitrage". 2007.
Is part ofLSI-07-39-R