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Selling checkmarks

Microeconomics seminar

Add to calendar 2024-06-04 14:00 2024-06-04 15:15 Europe/Rome Selling checkmarks Conference Room Villa La Fonte YYYY-MM-DD


04 June 2024

14:00 - 15:15 CEST


Conference Room

Villa La Fonte

In this seminar, Matthew Mitchell (University of Toronto) will present the paper 'Selling Checkmarks'.

We study a social media platform that is monetized through selling "verified" status to content providers. Providers on the platform come in two types, ones that are valued by content consumers and ones that are not. The platform can observe and potentially verify this type, as well as steering content. Providers value attention from consumers; consumer attention depends on a producer's "verified" status and on the equilibrium mix of providers with that status. We show that verification plays a role even conditional on content provision. We further show that selling status can increase consumer's payoff relative to a benchmark where verification is perfect but traffic is for sale. Finally, we highlight fundamentals of platforms that influence whether verified status is for sale, or verification is mostly correct.

Co-authors: Heski Bar-Isaac and Rahul Deb, University of Toronto

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