Information Acquisition under (Im)perfect Data Privacy


We investigate the consequences of imperfect data privacy on information acquisition about personal health status. In a simplified game of persuasion players decide on whether or not to acquire information about their health status before searching for a matching partner (e.g. an insurance company). We contrast three institutional settings: automatic dissemination of certified test results, perfect data privacy and imperfect data privacy about certified test results (i.e. potentially involuntary dissemination). Assuming that the ex-ante expected payoff of a match with an unknown type is positive, we find that equilibria with complete information acquisition and complete information revelation exist only under perfect and imperfect data privacy whereas equilibria without any information acquisition exist under all institutional settings. We test our predictions in a laboratory experiment. Indeed, both imperfect and perfect data privacy yield almost perfect information acquisition. Automatic dissemination leads to incomplete information acquisition. as well as seminar participants in Nuremberg for helpful thoughts and comments.

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@inproceedings{Schudy2012InformationAU, title={Information Acquisition under (Im)perfect Data Privacy}, author={Simeon Schudy and Verena Utikal and Pascal Sulser and Katrin Schmelz and Irenaeus Wolff}, year={2012} }