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Information congestion

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  • Simon P. Anderson
  • André de Palma

Abstract

Unsolicited advertising messages vie for scarce attention. Junk mail, spam e-mail, and telemarketing calls need both parties to exert effort to generate transactions. Message receivers supply attention according to average message benefit, while the marginal sender determines congestion. Costlier transmission may improve average message benefit so more messages are examined. Too many (too few) messages may be sent, or the wrong ones. A Do-Not-Call policy beats a ban, but too many individuals opt out. A monopoly gatekeeper performs better than personal access pricing if nuisance costs to receivers are moderate. The welfare results still hold when messages are presorted (triage). Copyright (c) 2009, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:688-709
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peitz, Martin & Reisinger, Markus, 2014. "The Economics of Internet Media," Working Papers 14-23, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    2. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2012. "Competition for attention in the Information (overload) Age," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 1-25, March.
    3. Peitz, Martin & Schuett, Florian, 2016. "Net neutrality and inflation of traffic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 16-62.
    4. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong T. Lee & Ivan P. L. Png, 2008. "Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance: A Static Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(6), pages 1094-1103, June.
    5. Anderson, Simon P. & Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle & Peitz, Martin, 2012. "Media market concentration, advertising levels, and ad prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 321-325.
    6. Aloui, Chokri & Jebsi, Khaïreddine, 2016. "Platform optimal capacity sharing: Willing to pay more does not guarantee a larger capacity share," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 276-288.
    7. Chiao, Benjamin & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey, 2012. "Using uncensored communication channels to divert spam traffic," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 173-186.
    8. Arbatskaya, Maria & Konishi, Hideo, 2016. "Consumer referrals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 34-58.
    9. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107687899, March.
    10. Marco A. Haan & José L. Moraga‐González, 2011. "Advertising for Attention in a Consumer Search Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 552-579, May.
    11. Arbatskaya Maria & Konishi Hideo, 2014. "Managing Consumer Referrals on a Chain Network," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 69-94, March.
    12. Khim Yong, Goh & Kai-Lung, Hui & I.P.L., Png, 2008. "Social Interaction, Observational Learning, and Privacy: the "Do Not Call" Registry," MPRA Paper 8225, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Vera Brenčič, 2015. "Employers' Efforts to Deter Shirking in Teams: Evidence from Job Vacancies," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(1), pages 52-78, March.
    14. André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Nathalie Picard, 2012. "Risk Aversion, the Value of Information, and Traffic Equilibrium," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 1-26, February.
    15. Hartmut Egger & Josef Falkinger, 2016. "Limited Consumer Attention in International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 1096-1128, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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