Identity Technologies: A Transaction Cost Approach
14 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 28, 2020
Identity is an input into economic exchange and contracting. The modern industrial economy has relies on cheap political identity to create trust and lower transaction costs. Market economies, however, have different identity needs than an administrative state. Economic efficiency in a digital economy requires high-quality economic identity to facilitate co-production of value on platforms, and to enable market competition through product-quality discrimination. Blockchain technologies and related advances are bringing innovation to economic identity technology. In this paper we explore state-produced identity and market-produced identity, the dynamics that exist in their demand and supply, how these categories are being shaped by technological change, the implications for privacy and secrecy, and the role of the state in market-produced identity.
Keywords: identity, privacy, institutional economics, technology, blockchain, zero-knowledge proofs
JEL Classification: D02, D04, D18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation