Presentation by Jun. Prof. Dr. Volker Benndorf about “Behavioral forces driving unraveling”

On 1th July 2019 (1-2pm) Jun. Prof. Dr. Volker Benndorf, assistant professor for applied micro economics at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, will give a presentation about “Behavioral forces driving unraveling” in Q4.245. Afterwards, Mr. Benndorf will be available for questions and discussions. His presentation is part of:


Information unraveling is an elegant theoretical argument suggesting that private information may be fully and voluntarily surrendered. In the context of privacy and data protection, the unraveling argument suggest than more information is revealed than players originally intend to. The experimental literature has, however, by and large failed to provide evidence of complete unraveling. Behavioral factors including limited depth of reasoning may impede the information unraveling process, so only partial revelation occurs. In this paper, we identify three forces that are likely to be relevant in the field and that should lead to more information unraveling. In our novel design, decisions making is quasi sequential and decisions to not require higher-level reasoning. A second new aspect of our design is that we induce entitlement: some players may feel they deserve higher payoffs because they won a pre-game contest and may trigger further unraveling. In the third new treatment, players may be unaware of the externality unraveling decisions impose. If so, this may also lead to further unraveling. Our data to confirm the hypothesized effects of our treatments in that we find more information unraveling. A detailed account of the timing of decisions yields further insights into the unraveling process. Inequality aversion remains a factor impeding information revelation.