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

59 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019 Last revised: 15 Oct 2019

See all articles by Viola Ackfeld

Viola Ackfeld

University of Cologne

Werner Güth

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; Luiss Guido Carli University

Date Written: March 1, 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

Ackfeld, Viola and Güth, Werner, Personal Information Disclosure under Competition for Benefits: Is Sharing Caring? (March 1, 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

Viola Ackfeld

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Werner Güth (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Luiss Guido Carli University ( email )

Via O. Tommasini 1
Rome, Roma 00100
Italy

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