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The Effect of Filters on Spam Mail

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  • Eilon Solan
  • Eran Reshef

Abstract

We provide a model to study the effect of improving the quality of the filters that users use, and the increase of the cost of mailing spam messages, on the total number of messages that spammers send. We show that increasing the cost of mailing spam messages have the unequivocal effect of reducing the total number of spam messages sent by spammers. On the other hand, improving the quality of the filters have an ambiguous effect: users who uses the improved filter receive less spam messages, but the total number of messages sent by spammers might increase, and other users, who keep their old filters, might receive more spam messages.

Suggested Citation

  • Eilon Solan & Eran Reshef, 2005. "The Effect of Filters on Spam Mail," Discussion Papers 1402, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1402
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    File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1402.pdf
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    1. Timothy Van Zandt, 2004. "Information Overload in a Network of Targeted Communication," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 542-560, Autumn.
    2. Robert Kraut & Shyam Sunder & Rahul Telang & James Morris, 2005. "Pricing Electronic Mail to Solve the Problem of Spam," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2638, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Oct 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eran Reshef & Eilon Solan, 2005. "Analysis of Do-Not-Spam Registry," Discussion Papers 1411, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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