Chad Jones, Christopher Tonetti, 28 July 2020

Data are nonrival in nature. Using a standard model in which firms produce differentiated goods using labour and data as fundamental inputs, this column explores the economic implications of this nonrival nature of data. It suggests that having consumers own their personal data instead of firms may help achieve two important goals. First, consumers would respect their own privacy. Second, consumers would have incentives to sell their data to multiple organisations, thus taking advantage of infinite usability.

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