IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v130y2021icp499-520.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Consumers' privacy choices in the era of big data

Author

Listed:
  • Dengler, Sebastian
  • Prüfer, Jens

Abstract

Recent progress in information technologies provides sellers with detailed knowledge about consumers' preferences, approaching perfect price discrimination in the limit. We construct a model where consumers with less strategic sophistication than the seller's pricing algorithm face a trade-off when buying. They choose between a direct, transaction cost-free sales channel and a privacy-protecting, but costly, anonymous channel. We show that the anonymous channel is used even in the absence of an explicit taste for privacy if consumers are not too strategically sophisticated. This provides a micro-foundation for consumers' privacy choices. Some consumers benefit but others suffer from their anonymization.

Suggested Citation

  • Dengler, Sebastian & Prüfer, Jens, 2021. "Consumers' privacy choices in the era of big data," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 499-520.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:130:y:2021:i:c:p:499-520
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2021.09.007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825621001299
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.geb.2021.09.007?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2014. "The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-24.
    2. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
    3. García-Pola, Bernardo & Iriberri, Nagore & Kovářík, Jaromír, 2020. "Non-equilibrium play in centipede games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 391-433.
    4. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1737-1768, December.
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Bonatti, 2015. "Selling Cookies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 259-294, August.
    6. Benndorf, Volker & Kübler, Dorothea & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2015. "Privacy concerns, voluntary disclosure of information, and unraveling: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 43-59.
    7. Belleflamme, Paul & Vergote, Wouter, 2016. "Monopoly price discrimination and privacy: The hidden cost of hiding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 141-144.
    8. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2010. "Public Goods, Social Pressure, and the Choice between Privacy and Publicity," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 191-221, May.
    9. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Nonequilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1721-1770, November.
    10. Calzolari, Giacomo & Pavan, Alessandro, 2006. "On the optimality of privacy in sequential contracting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 168-204, September.
    11. Posner, Richard A, 1981. "The Economics of Privacy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 405-409, May.
      • Posner, Richard A., 1980. "The Economics of Privacy," Working Papers 16, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State.
    12. Jens Prüfer & Christoph Schottmüller, 2021. "Competing with Big Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 967-1008, December.
    13. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P & Broseta, Bruno, 2001. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1193-1235, September.
    14. Blundell,Richard & Newey,Whitney K. & Persson,Torsten (ed.), 2006. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521871525, November.
    15. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
    16. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
    17. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-969, September.
    18. Shota Ichihashi, 2020. "Online Privacy and Information Disclosure by Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(2), pages 569-595, February.
    19. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
    20. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    21. Vincent P. Crawford, 2003. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 133-149, March.
    22. Alessandro Acquisti & Curtis Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2016. "The Economics of Privacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 442-492, June.
    23. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
    24. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
    25. Jentzsch, Nicola, 2016. "State-of-the-Art of the Economics of Cyber-Security and Privacy," EconStor Research Reports 126223, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    26. Curtis R. Taylor, 2004. "Consumer Privacy and the Market for Customer Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 631-650, Winter.
    27. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    28. Benjamin Hermalin & Michael Katz, 2006. "Privacy, property rights and efficiency: The economics of privacy as secrecy," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 209-239, September.
    29. Benjamin Reed Shiller, 2013. "First Degree Price Discrimination Using Big Data," Working Papers 58, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Business School, revised Jan 2014.
    30. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Andres Hervas-Drane, 2015. "Competing with Privacy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(1), pages 229-246, January.
    31. Alexandre de Cornière & Romain de Nijs, 2016. "Online advertising and privacy," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(1), pages 48-72, February.
    32. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
    33. Blundell,Richard & Newey,Whitney K. & Persson,Torsten (ed.), 2006. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521692083, November.
    34. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Price Cycles in Markets with Customer Recognition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 486-501, Autumn.
    35. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, 2012. "Shifts in Privacy Concerns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 349-353, May.
    36. Janice Y. Tsai & Serge Egelman & Lorrie Cranor & Alessandro Acquisti, 2011. "The Effect of Online Privacy Information on Purchasing Behavior: An Experimental Study," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 254-268, June.
    37. Stigler, George J., 1980. "An Introduction to Privacy in Economics and Politics," Working Papers 10, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State.
    38. Alexandre de Corniere & Romain De Nijs, 2013. "Online Advertising and Privacy," Economics Series Working Papers 650, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    39. Vincent Conitzer & Curtis R. Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2012. "Hide and Seek: Costly Consumer Privacy in a Market with Repeat Purchases," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 277-292, March.
    40. Kawagoe, Toshiji & Takizawa, Hirokazu, 2012. "Level-k analysis of experimental centipede games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 548-566.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. MARTENS Bertin, 2020. "An economic perspective on data and platform market power," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2020-09, Joint Research Centre.
    2. Jens Prüfer & Patricia Prüfer, 2020. "Data science for entrepreneurship research: studying demand dynamics for entrepreneurial skills in the Netherlands," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 651-672, October.
    3. Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle & Nguyen-Ones, Mai, 2024. "The choice of pricing format: Firms may choose uniform pricing over personalized pricing to induce rivals to soften competition," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    4. Rupayan Pal & Sumit Shrivastav, 2024. "Privacy regulation, cognitive ability, and stability of collusion," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2024-004, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Bertin Martens, 2018. "The impact of data access regimes on artificial intelligence and machine learning," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2018-09, Joint Research Centre.
    6. Li, Jianpei & Zhang, Wanzhu, 2024. "The Value of Anonymous Option," MPRA Paper 120010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bertin Martens & Alexandre de Streel & Inge Graef & Thomas Tombal & Nestor Duch-Brown, 2020. "Business-to-Business data sharing: An economic and legal analysis," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2020-05, Joint Research Centre.
    8. Prüfer, Jens, 2018. "Trusting privacy in the cloud," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 52-67.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rodrigo Montes & Wilfried Sand-Zantman & Tommaso Valletti, 2019. "The Value of Personal Information in Online Markets with Endogenous Privacy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(3), pages 1342-1362, March.
    2. Morlok, Tina & Matt, Christian & Hess, Thomas, 2017. "Privatheitsforschung in den Wirtschaftswissenschaften: Entwicklung, Stand und Perspektiven," Working Papers 1/2017, University of Munich, Munich School of Management, Institute for Information Systems and New Media.
    3. Chen, Yongmin & Hua, Xinyu & Maskus, Keith E., 2021. "International protection of consumer data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    4. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "Strategic Thinking," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001148, David K. Levine.
    5. Flavio Pino, 2022. "The microeconomics of data – a survey," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 49(3), pages 635-665, September.
    6. Binswanger, Johannes & Prüfer, Jens, 2012. "Democracy, populism, and (un)bounded rationality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 358-372.
    7. Lagerlöf, Johan N.M., 2023. "Surfing incognito: Welfare effects of anonymous shopping," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    8. Arad Ayala, 2012. "The Tennis Coach Problem: A Game-Theoretic and Experimental Study," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-43, April.
    9. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    10. Dufwenberg, Martin & Sundaram, Ramya & Butler, David J., 2010. "Epiphany in the Game of 21," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 132-143, August.
    11. Loertscher, Simon & Marx, Leslie M., 2020. "Digital monopolies: Privacy protection or price regulation?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    12. Dvijotham, Krishnamurthy & Rabani, Yuval & Schulman, Leonard J., 2022. "Convergence of incentive-driven dynamics in Fisher markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 361-375.
    13. Georganas, Sotiris & Healy, Paul J. & Weber, Roberto A., 2015. "On the persistence of strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 369-400.
    14. Strzalecki, Tomasz, 2014. "Depth of reasoning and higher order beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 108-122.
    15. Wright, James R. & Leyton-Brown, Kevin, 2017. "Predicting human behavior in unrepeated, simultaneous-move games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 16-37.
    16. Berger, Ulrich & De Silva, Hannelore & Fellner-Röhling, Gerlinde, 2016. "Cognitive hierarchies in the minimizer game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 337-348.
    17. Crawford, Vincent P., 2017. "Let׳s talk it over: Coordination via preplay communication with level-k thinking," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 20-31.
    18. Arad, Ayala, 2008. "The Tennis Coach Problem: A Game-Theoretic and Experimental Study," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275711, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    19. García-Pola, Bernardo & Iriberri, Nagore & Kovářík, Jaromír, 2020. "Non-equilibrium play in centipede games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 391-433.
    20. Dugar, Subhasish & Shahriar, Quazi, 2023. "Lying for votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 46-72.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Privacy; Big data; Perfect price discrimination; Level-k thinking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:130:y:2021:i:c:p:499-520. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.