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Identity Theft

Author

Listed:
  • Keith B. Anderson
  • Erik Durbin
  • Michael A. Salinger

Abstract

Identity theft is made possible by the nature of modern payment systems. In the modern economy, sellers are willing to offer goods and services to strangers in exchange for a promise to pay, provided the promise is backed up by data that link the buyer to a specific account or credit history. Identity theft involves acquiring enough data about another person to counterfeit this link, enabling the thief to acquire goods while attributing the charge to another person's account. In this article, we discuss what is (and is not) known about the prevalence and cost of identity theft, describe the institutional framework in which identity theft takes place, and consider some of the main policy issues associated with the problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith B. Anderson & Erik Durbin & Michael A. Salinger, 2008. "Identity Theft," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:22:y:2008:i:2:p:171-192
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.22.2.171
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.22.2.171
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Julia S. Cheney, 2005. "Identity theft: do definitions still matter?," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 05-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles M. Kahn & José M. Liñares-Zegarra, 2016. "Identity Theft and Consumer Payment Choice: Does Security Really Matter?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 121-159, August.
    2. Giannetti, Caterina & Jentzsch, Nicola, 2013. "Credit reporting, financial intermediation and identification systems: International evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 60-80.
    3. Caterina Giannetti & Nicola Jentzsch, 2011. "Credit Reporting, Access to Finance and Identification Systems: International Evidence," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-031, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Roberds, William & Schreft, Stacey L., 2009. "Data breaches and identity theft," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 918-929, October.
    5. 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.
    6. William Roberds & Stacey L. Schreft, 2009. "Data security, privacy, and identity theft: The economics behind the policy debates," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 22-30.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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