The Economics of Social Data

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and University of Brescia, in collaboration with the Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (IAERE), European University Institute, Department of Environmental Science and Policy of the University of Milan and University of Siena are glad to present the Winter Series “Economic Modelling Seminars”. The series aims at bringing together academics of excellence, discussing economics research around prominent themes.

During the fifth seminar, to be held on the 8th of February, 2021, Professor Dirk Bergemann (Douglass and Marion Campbell Professor of Economics at Yale University) will present the study “The Economics of Social Data”.

The authors propose a model of data intermediation to analyze the incentives for sharing individual data in the presence of informational externalities. A data intermediary acquires signals from individual consumers regarding their preferences. The intermediary resells the information in a product market in which firms and consumers can tailor their choices to the demand data. The social dimension of the individual data - whereby an individual's data are predictive of the behavior of others - generates a data externality that can reduce the intermediary's cost of acquiring information. The authors derive the intermediary's optimal data policy and establish that it preserves the privacy of consumer identities while providing precise information about market demand to the firms. This policy enables the intermediary to capture the total value of the information as the number of consumers becomes large.

Professor Sergio Vergalli (University of Brescia, IAERE President and Head of Economics – 2030 Agenda research area in Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei) will chair the event.



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