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Incentive Compatibility in the Auto-bidding World

Yeganeh Alimohammadi
Andres Perlroth
24th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, EC 2023


Auto-bidding has recently become a popular feature in ad auctions. This feature enables advertisers to simply provide high-level constraints and goals to an automated agent, which optimizes their auction bids on their behalf. These auto-bidding intermediaries interact in a decentralized manner in the underlying auctions, leading to new interesting practical and theoretical questions on auction design, for example, in understanding the bidding equilibrium properties between auto-bidder intermediaries for different auctions. In this paper, we examine the effect of different auctions on the incentives of advertisers to report their constraints to the auto-bidder intermediaries. More precisely, we study whether canonical auctions such as first price auction (FPA) and second price auction (SPA) are auto-bidding incentive compatible (AIC): whether an advertiser can gain by misreporting their constraints to the autobidder.