Personal Information Disclosure under Competition for Benefits: Is Sharing Caring?

56 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019

See all articles by Werner Guth

Werner Guth

Max Planck Institute of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Viola Ackfeld

University of Cologne

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

Personal information is shared extensively every day, partly in exchange for benefits or as a reaction to other people’s information sharing. In this paper, we experimentally investigate these two factors by analyzing the interaction of peer comparison and incentives to disclose potentially privacy-sensitive information. We find that information sharing is higher under incentives, and further increases under peer comparison. This effect is driven by those initially disclosing less, who additionally report to feel more compelled to reveal information. Our results provide an explanation for the current information sharing trend while pointing to a potentially neglected side-effect.

Keywords: Personal information disclosure, Peer comparison, Incentives, Experiment

JEL Classification: C92, D30, D82

Suggested Citation

Güth, Werner and Ackfeld, Viola, Personal Information Disclosure under Competition for Benefits: Is Sharing Caring? (March 2019). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2019/4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3350489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3350489

Werner Güth (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute of Economics ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Viola Ackfeld

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

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