Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Ignacio N. CofoneEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_751



There is no universal agreement on what is privacy. Within law and economics, privacy has been modeled as concealment of personal information (Posner 1978, 1981) and as the standard deviation in the probability distribution forming people’s perception over our personal information, with privacy loss being a tighter posterior in that distribution (Cofone and Robertson 2018a).


The law and economics literature on information privacy revolves around two dialogues, one normative and one empirical. To a large extent, these dialogues have remained separate. The normative dialogue asks whether privacy is worth protecting, to what extent, and how. The empirical dialogue focuses on better understanding consumer behavior through experimental methods.

Normative Privacy

The puzzling aspect of the normative debate is that while much of the normative economic literature argues categorically against privacy protection, most of the...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NYU Information Law InstituteNew YorkUSA