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Shifts in Privacy Concerns


  • Avi Goldfarb
  • Catherine Tucker


This paper explores how digitization and the associated use of customer data have affected the evolution of consumer privacy concerns. We measure privacy concerns by reluctance to disclose income in an online marketing research survey. Using over three million responses over eight years, our data show: (1) Refusals to reveal information have risen over time, (2) Older people are less likely to reveal information, and (3) The difference between older and younger people has increased over time. Our results suggest that the trends over time are partly due to broadening perceptions of the contexts in which privacy is relevant.

Suggested Citation

  • Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, 2012. "Shifts in Privacy Concerns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 349-353, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:349-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
    2. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, 2011. "Online Display Advertising: Targeting and Obtrusiveness," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 389-404, 05-06.
    3. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine E. Tucker, 2011. "Privacy Regulation and Online Advertising," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 57-71, January.
    4. Kai-Lung Hui & I.P.L. Png, 2005. "The Economics of Privacy," Industrial Organization 0505007, EconWPA, revised 29 Aug 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Angelo Mele, 2012. "Viral altruism? A natural field experiment of social contagion in on-line networks," Working Papers 12-16, NET Institute.
    2. Avi Goldfarb, 2014. "What is Different About Online Advertising?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(2), pages 115-129, March.
    3. Florian Morath & Johannes Muenster, 2014. "Online Shopping and Platform Design with Ex Ante Registration Requirements," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-21, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:nbr:nberch:14011 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anna D'Annunzio & Antonio Russo, 2017. "Ad Networks, Consumer Tracking, and Privacy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6667, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Prüfer, J.O., 2014. "Trusting Privacy in the Cloud," Discussion Paper 2014-047, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    8. Bertschek, Irene & Briglauer, Wolfgang & Hüschelrath, Kai & Krämer, Jan & Frübing, Stefan & Kesler, Reinhold & Saam, Marianne, 2016. "Metastudie zum Fachdialog Ordnungsrahmen für die Digitale Wirtschaft: Im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 147040.
    9. Brenčič, Vera, 2014. "Search online: Evidence from acquisition of information on online job boards and resume banks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 112-125.
    10. Helia Marreiros & Mirco Tonin & Michael Vlassopoulos & m.c. schraefel, 2016. ""Now that you mention it": A Survey Experiment on Information, Salience and Online Privacy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5756, CESifo Group Munich.

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