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Selling Cookies

  • Dirk Bergemann
  • Alessandro Bonatti

We develop a model of data pricing and targeted advertising. A monopolistic data provider determines the price to access "cookies," i.e., informative signals about individual consumers' preferences. The demand for information is generated by advertisers who seek to tailor their spending to the value of each consumer. We characterize the set of consumers targeted by the advertisers and the optimal monopoly price of cookies. The ability to influence the composition of the set of targeted consumers provides incentives to lower prices. Thus, the monopoly price of data is decreasing in the reach of the database and increasing in the number of competing sellers of exclusive data. Finally, we explore the implications of nonlinear pricing of information and characterize the exclusive data sales that emerge as part of the optimal mechanism.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000909.

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Date of creation: 24 Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000909
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 2002. "The Sale of Ideas: Strategic Disclosure, Property Rights, and Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 513-31, July.
  2. Diego Garcia & Francesco Sangiorgi, 2007. "Information Sales and Strategic Trading," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 45, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," Economics Series Working Papers 185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2002. "The Sale of Ideas: Strategic Disclosure, Property Rights, and Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 513-531.
  5. Luis Rayo & Ilya Segal, 2010. "Optimal Information Disclosure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 949 - 987.
  6. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  7. Diego García & Francesco Sangiorgi, 2011. "Information Sales and Strategic Trading," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 3069-3104.
  8. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  9. William Adams & Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Liquidity Constraints and Imperfect Information in Subprime Lending," NBER Working Papers 13067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bergemann, Dirk & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2007. "Information structures in optimal auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 580-609, November.
  11. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  12. Thomas Blake & Chris Nosko & Steven Tadelis, 2015. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Paid Search Effectiveness: A Large‐Scale Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 155-174, 01.
  13. L. Elisa Celis & Gregory Lewis & Markus M. Mobius & Hamid Nazerzadeh, 2012. "Buy-it-now or Take-a-chance: Price Discrimination through Randomized Auctions," NBER Working Papers 18590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1990. "Direct and Indirect Sale of Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 901-28, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Miklos Sarvary & Philip M. Parker, 1997. "Marketing Information: A Competitive Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(1), pages 24-38.
  17. William P. Rogerson, 2003. "Simple Menus of Contracts in Cost-Based Procurement and Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 919-926, June.
  18. Admati, Anat R. & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1986. "A monopolistic market for information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 400-438, August.
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