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In this paper, we present CARA, a novel auction-based framework improving cost efficiency of ad-hoc networks through dynamic power control. CARA is designed to operate below the wide-area routing protocols as an extension of the MAC layer. When CARA is enabled, the MAC layer at each node runs local sealed-bid second-price auctions for the user data packets that need to be transmitted, and determines any neighbor nodes that would reduce the transmission cost to the next hop identified by the network layer. CARA can easily be integrated with existing routing protocols without impacting them in any way, and through its auction-based framework, it supports self-organized networks where nodes are greedy and selfish. Our simulations show that CARA significantly improves the cost efficiency, energy efficiency and lifetime of the network, while introducing only minimal additional overhead.