A diverse goods arbitration system and method allocates computer resources among bidding requesters. Bid slates are transmitted to an arbiter by users (requesters) requesting use of specified portions of the available computer resources. Each bid slate may contain a plurality of bids, each bid representing a requested set of resources and a bid price. The arbiter selects combinations of bids from the bid slates, where each bid combination consists of no more than one bid from each of the received bid slates. The arbiter rejects all bid combinations whose constituent bids exceed an established maximum allocation level for any computer resource. It then selects as a winning bid combination the bid combination having the highest total bid price. Computer resources are then allocated for a next time period based on the winning bid. Costs are allocating to each successful requester in accordance with a predefined opportunity cost function. In particular, for each successful requester, the arbitration process is repeated while excluding that successful requester's bid slate from the set of bid slates considered, resulting in the selection of a second winning bid that excludes the successful requester. The successful requester is then assessed a cost corresponding to the difference between the winning bid's total bid prices, excluding the price in the successful requester's granted bid, and the total bid prices associated with the second winning bid.