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Information Congestion

  • Simon P. Anderson

    (Department of Economics, University of Virginia - Uniiversity of Virginia)

  • André De Palma

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan)

Advertising messages vie for scarce attention. “Junk” mail, “spam” e-mail, and telemarketing calls need both parties to exert effort to generate transactions. Message recipients supply attention depending on average message benefit, while senders are motivated by profits. Costlier message transmission may improve message quality so more messages are examined. Too many 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.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00349516
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