Incentive-compatible advertising on nonretail platforms

Kfir Eliaz, Ran Spiegler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonretail platforms enable users to engage in noncommercial activities, while generating user information that helps ad targeting. We present a model in which the platform chooses a personalized ad-display rule and an advertising fee (which depends on the targeted user group). The policy that maximizes the platform's advertising revenues creates an incentive for advertisers to strategize targeting. We provide a condition for incentive-compatibility of the first-best policy, and highlight the forces that make it harder to satisfy. We apply our result to examples of platforms. Our analysis of social networks turns out to be related to the “community-detection” problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-345
Number of pages23
JournalRAND Journal of Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1153/13


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