The real puzzle of blackmail: An informational approach
AbstractThe "puzzle" of blackmail is that threats to reveal private information that would be harmful to someone in exchange for money are illegal, but revelation is not. The resolution is that concealment of information about product quality impedes the efficient operation of markets, whereas revelation promotes it. The real puzzle is why possessors are not naturally inclined to sell to uninformed parties, who value the information more than would-be blackmail victims. The answer has to do with the public good qualities of information, which create an appropriability problem in transactions with uninformed parties. The paper also discusses incentives to acquire compromising information.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.
Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549
Asymmetric information Blackmail Adverse selection;
Other versions of this item:
- Thomas J. Miceli, 2010. "The Real Puzzle of Blackmail: An Informational Approach," Working papers 2010-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
- Johannes Horner & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2009.
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1743R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2011.
- Johannes Horner & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2013. "Selling Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000680, David K. Levine.
- Johannes Horner & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2009. "Selling Information," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1743R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Nov 2012.
- Johannes Horner & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2009. "Selling Information," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1743, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2010.
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- Cheung, Steven N S, 1982. "Property Rights in Trade Secrets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 40-53, January.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
- Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
- Gomez, Fernando & Ganuza, Juan-Jose, 2002. "Civil and criminal sanctions against blackmail: an economic analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 475-498, May.
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