The Economics of Social Data

12 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2019

See all articles by Dirk Bergemann

Dirk Bergemann

Yale University - Cowles Foundation - Department of Economics; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Alessandro Bonatti

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: March 26, 2019

Abstract

Large internet platforms collect data from individual users in almost every interaction on the internet. Whenever an individual browses a news website, searches for a medical term or for a travel recommendation, or simply checks the weather forecast on an app, that individual generates data. A central feature of the data collected from the individuals is its social aspect. Namely, the data captured from an individual user is not only informative about this speciļ¬c individual, but also about users in some metric similar to the individual. Thus, the individual data is really social data. The social nature of the data generates an informational externality that we investigate in this note.

Keywords: Individual Data, Social Data, Informational Externality, Internet Platforms, Data Collection, Data Markup

JEL Classification: D80, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Bergemann, Dirk and Bonatti, Alessandro, The Economics of Social Data (March 26, 2019). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2171 (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3360352 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3360352

Dirk Bergemann (Contact Author)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States
203-432-3592 (Phone)
203-432-2128 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~dirk/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Alessandro Bonatti

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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