Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Towards a Resolution of the Privacy Paradox

Author(s): Kristóf Madarász and Marek Pycia

Publication Date: January 2022


Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization and Organizational Economics

Abstract: This paper provides an explanation of the so-called privacy paradox and describes a more general informational 'irrelevance' result. We show that in a large class of imperfect information dynamic games between the buyer, the seller, and privacy platforms, the buyer chooses not to bear any direct cost of protecting her privacy even if leakage of her information affects the prices she faces and hence her surplus from trade. More generally, we show that the informed party's choice of privacy (mode of communication) is driven solely by the direct cost of talk rather than by the information such talk conveys: choosing between different privacy options, the buyer always chooses a cheapest option irrespective of its and its alternatives' informational characteristics.

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Bibliographic Reference

Madarász, K and Pycia, M. 2022. 'Towards a Resolution of the Privacy Paradox'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.