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Managing Director Sarah Butler and Associate Directors Dr. Garrett Glasgow and Dr. Samantha Iyengar have published “Survey Response Bias and the ‘Privacy Paradox’: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment,” in Applied Economics Letters. The NERA team used a discrete choice survey experiment based on hypothetical ride-hailing services to test for evidence that survey response bias contributes to the privacy paradox. The experiment compared a “within-subjects design” in which location sharing was presented as an attribute of the rides to a “between-subjects design” in which location sharing was not presented as an attribute. In the latter case, the location-sharing practices of the hypothetical firms were presented to a treatment group before the respondents made their choices.

The team’s analysis found that, while respondents placed a value on their personal location data under both survey designs, the differences between the survey designs were statistically insignificant, indicating there is no evidence that the within-subjects design led to the type of survey response bias that might contribute to the privacy paradox.