Markets for Information: An Introduction
32 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 27, 2018
We survey a recent and growing literature on markets for information. We oﬀer a comprehensive view of information markets through an integrated model of consumers, information intermediaries, and ﬁrms. The model embeds a large set of applications ranging from sponsored search advertising to credit scores to information sharing among competitors. We then review a mechanism design approach to selling information in greater detail. We distinguish between ex ante sales of information (the buyer acquires an information structure) and ex post sales (the buyer pays for speciﬁc realizations). We relate this distinction to the diﬀerent products that brokers, advertisers, and publishers use to trade consumer information online. We discuss the endogenous limits to the trade of information that derive from its potential adverse use for consumers. Finally, we revisit the role of recommender systems and artiﬁcial intelligence systems as markets for indirect information.
JEL Classification: Information markets, Information design, Intermediaries, Mechanism design, Predictions, ratings
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