CFDP 2171R

The Economics of Social Data: An Introduction


Publication Date: March 2019

Revision Date: September 2019

Pages: 12


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 specific 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 Codes: D80, D82, D83

JEL Classification Codes: D80D82D83

See CFDP Version(s): CFDP 2171