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A Theory of Transactions Privacy

  • Charles Kahn
  • James McAndrews
  • William Roberds

In this paper, we consider the costs and benefits of transactions privacy. In the environment we consider, privacy is the concealment of potentially useful information, but concealment also potentially bestows benefits. In some versions of the environment, the standard Coasian logic applies: given an unambiguous initial assignment of rights and sufficient flexibility in contracting, efficiency in information revelation with result. Coasian bargaining may be impeded, however, by either an inability to make certain commitments or by the presence of significant investments that must be made before the transaction occurs. In such cases, initial assignments of rights (for example, privacy laws) can have consequences for efficiency.

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File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/01/0112.pdf
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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 01-12.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-12
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  1. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Williamson, Stephen, 1997. "Money and Dynamic Credit Arrangements with Private Information," Working Papers 97-19, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  2. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Wallace, Neil, 1998. "Incomplete Record-Keeping and Optimal Payment Arrangements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 272-289, August.
  3. George J. Stigler, 1980. "An Introduction to Privacy in Economics and Politics," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 10, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Richard A. Posner, 1980. "The Economics of Privacy," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 16, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Townsend, Robert M, 1989. "Currency and Credit in a Private Information Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1323-44, December.
  6. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Money is memory," Staff Report 218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Taub, Bart, 1994. "Currency and Credit Are Equivalent Mechanisms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 921-56, November.
  8. Posner, Richard A, 1981. "The Economics of Privacy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 405-09, May.
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