Friday, June 14, 2019

Consumer Privacy and Serial Monopoly

Venkataraman Bhaskar, University of Texas at Austin and Nikita Roketskiy, University College London - Department of Economics discuss Consumer Privacy and Serial Monopoly.

ABSTRACT: We examine the implications of consumer privacy when preferences today depend upon past consumption choices, and consumers shop from different sellers in each period. Although consumers are ex ante identical, their initial consumption choices cannot be deterministic. Thus ex post heterogeneity in preferences arises endogenously. Consumer privacy improves social welfare, consumer surplus and the profits of the second-period seller, while reducing the profits of the first period seller, relative to the situation where consumption choices are observed by the later seller.

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