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Data breaches and identity theft


  • Roberds, William
  • Schreft, Stacey L.


An environment is analyzed in which agents join clubs (payment networks) in order to facilitate trade. The networks compile personal identifying data (PID) so as to match transactors to transactions histories. Technological limitations cause the networks' data management practices to impact each other's incidence and costs of identity theft. Too much data collection and too little security arise in equilibrium with noncooperative networks compared to the efficient allocation. A number of potential remedies are analyzed: (1) reallocations of data-breach costs, (2) mandated security levels, and (3) mandated limits on the amount of data collected.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberds, William & Schreft, Stacey L., 2009. "Data breaches and identity theft," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 918-929, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:7:p:918-929

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Julia S. Cheney, 2004. "Identity theft: where do we go from here?," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 04-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lotz, S├ębastien & Zhang, Cathy, 2016. "Money and credit as means of payment: A new monetarist approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 68-100.
    2. Creti, Anna & Verdier, Marianne, 2014. "Fraud, investments and liability regimes in payment platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 84-93.
    3. Kyoung-Soo Yoon & Jooyong Jun, 2016. "Liability, Information, and Anti-fraud Investment in a Layered Retail Payment Structure," Working Papers 2016-12, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    4. 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.


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