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Spam - solutions and their problems


Author Info

  • Ian MacDonald
  • Laura Meriluoto


We analyze three potential solutions to the spamn problem - sender pays pricing, receiver pays pricing and filtering - used alone or concurrently. We find that filters alone may exacerbate the spam problem if the spammer tries to evade them by sending multiple variants of the message to each consumer. Sender pays and receiver pays prices can be effective on their own or with filtering in reducing or eliminating spam. When filtering is used in conjunction with either price the magnitude of the spam-eliminating price is unambiguously reduced for every level of filter effectiveness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Calgary in its series Working Papers with number 2008-09.

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Date of creation: 07 Feb 2008
Date of revision: 07 Feb 2008
Handle: RePEc:clg:wpaper:2008-09

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Keywords: spam; filtering; email; receiver pays pricing; sender pays pricing;

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  1. Loder Theodore & Van Alstyne Marshall & Wash Rick, 2006. "An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-38, March.
  2. Robert Kraut & Shyam Sunder & Rahul Telang & James Morris, 2005. "Pricing Electronic Mail to Solve the Problem of Spam," Yale School of Management Working Papers, Yale School of Management amz2638, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Oct 2005.
  3. Van Alstyne Marshall W., 2007. "Curing Spam: Rights, Signals & Screens," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-4, April.
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