NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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S. Nageeb Ali

Penn State University
411 Kern Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2019Voluntary Disclosure and Personalized Pricing
with Gregory Lewis, Shoshana Vasserman: w26592
A concern central to the economics of privacy is that firms may use consumer data to price discriminate. A common response is that consumers should have control over their data and the ability to choose how firms access it. Since firms draw inferences based on both the data seen as well as the consumer’s disclosure choices, the strategic implications of this proposal are unclear. We investigate whether such measures improve consumer welfare in monopolistic and competitive environments. We find that consumer control can guarantee gains for every consumer type relative to both perfect price discrimination and no personalized pricing. This result is driven by two ideas. First, consumers can use disclosure to amplify competition between firms. Second, consumers can share information that induc...
April 2016Image Versus Information: Changing Societal Norms and Optimal Privacy
with Roland Bénabou: w22203
We analyze the costs and benefits of using social image to foster virtuous behavior. A Principal seeks to motivate reputation-conscious agents to supply a public good. Each agent chooses how much to contribute based on his own mix of public-spiritedness, private signal about the value of the public good, and reputational concern for appearing prosocial. By making individual behavior more visible to the community the Principal can amplify reputational payoffs, thereby reducing free-riding at low cost. Because societal preferences constantly evolve, however, she knows only imperfectly both the social value of the public good (which matters for choosing her own investment, matching rate or legal policy) and the importance attached by agents to social esteem and sanctions. Increasing publicity...
 
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