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Information Lost (Apologies to Milton)

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  • Catherine L. Mann

Abstract

Vast amounts of information result from business and consumer search, communication, and transactions. All this information can enhance market efficiency and consumer surplus as firms tailor products to buyers. But, there is increased risk of information loss. What issues should be on the Digital Agenda with regard to information loss, and what data are available to inform and generate incentives for consumer, business, and policy interactions in the information marketplace? This paper reviews the situation and points out where we need more thought and more data. Topics include: (1) Frameworks for analysis: How should we model the information marketplace, particularly with regard to the benefits and costs of information aggregation and protection? (2) Quantification and data: What is the evidence on the prevalence and nature of information loss, and what are the costs of information loss, and to whom? (3) Market and Policy Response: What do we know about the efficacy of market vs. other approaches to incentivize market participants to avoid loss or remediate after information loss? Throughout, of particular interest is the international dimension of the information marketplace. What issues arise when countries differ in their attitudes and policies toward the information marketplace?

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine L. Mann, 2013. "Information Lost (Apologies to Milton)," NBER Working Papers 19526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19526
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    1. Shane Greenstein & Ryan C. McDevitt, 2009. "The Broadband Bonus: Accounting for Broadband Internet's Impact on U.S. GDP," NBER Working Papers 14758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Richard J. Sullivan, 2010. "The changing nature of U.S. card payment fraud: industry and public policy options," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 101-133.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F29 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Other
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • L19 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Other
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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