A welfare analysis of "junk" information and spam filters
AbstractThis paper analyses the equilibrium effects of individual information filters. Information is modelled as advertisements which are distributed across a population of consumers with heterogeneous preferences. An advertisement that provides knowledge about a product with little or no utility for a consumer is considered junk. Filters are characterised by their level of tolerance. The quality of the filter is measured in terms of the share of useful items in the total set of items passing the filter. It is shown that in conditions of decentralised competition, multiple equilibria arise. A social optimum can be achieved by demanding each consumer to reject a certain percentage of advertisements, leaving the choice of what is rejected up to the consumer him/herself.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Zurich, Socioeconomic Institute in its series Working Papers with number 0811.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
global information society; advertising; junk information; spam filter; Internet regulation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- M38 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-10-13 (All new papers)
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