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IRC Seminar, presented by Dr Leonie Gerhards: "Keep Them out of It! How Information Externalities Affect the Willingness to Sell Personal Data Online"

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Event information
Date 9 November 2023
Time 13:00-14:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Price Free
Venue Online
Event types:
Webinars Seminars


When individuals provide their personal data online, they often disregard the fact that this allows third parties to learn about others, too. Our large-scale online experiment reveals that individuals are less willing to sell personal data when sharing can compromise others' privacy, entailing personalized price discrimination. Compared to a benchmark without data compromise, individuals' willingness to sell data decreases in scenarios in which others' data is compromised with 50% and 100% probability, respectively. By applying two well-studied interventions – peer effects and a social norm focus – we explore ways to mitigate excessive data sharing, laying the ground for the design of effective policies. While peer effects on average increase individuals' willingness to share personal data, making people reflect on the appropriate behaviour appears a promising policy approach.

The project is joint work with Tim Friehe and Franziska Weber.

Leonie gerhards

Short bio on Presenter: Leonie Gerhards joined King's Business School as Lecturer in Economics in November 2021. Her goal is to generate novel and sound scientific insights on the behavioural factors that influence individuals’ behaviour in organisations and in society in general. In order to study a research topic under investigation, she mainly uses theory-informed, controlled experiments.

Her main research areas include:

  • Organisational economics
  • Overconfidence and response to feedback
  • Social norms and the law
  • Political economy

Leonie's research has been published in several journals including The Economic Journal, The European Economic Review, and Experimental Economics. Several of her articles and projects have been featured in blogs and newspapers (in English and other languages). After studying Economics at the University of Bonn, Leonie completed a PhD in Economics at Goethe University Frankfurt and then worked as a postdoc at Aarhus University and the University of Hamburg.