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The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics will host the Second Federal Trade Commission Conference on Marketing and Public Policy on October 18, 2024 in Washington, D.C. This one-day event will bring together scholars and policymakers interested in issues at the intersection of marketing, information economics, and public policy.

As America’s primary consumer protection law enforcement agency, the FTC has benefited from the economics and marketing literature in its long history of case and policy work. Following the success of the first marketing conference hosted by the FTC in 2016, this conference aims to deepen the intellectual dialogue between FTC economists and scholars in quantitative marketing, information economics, and consumer behavior research. It will serve as a vehicle for scholars to learn about the FTC’s work in competition and consumer protection, promote high impact research in consumer protection and related public policies, and introduce FTC economists to cutting-edge research.

The conference will feature research paper sessions as well as a panel discussion including both policymakers and academic experts.

We welcome submission in the following areas:

  1. How do consumers use and interact with digital devices and platforms, and to what extent do they encounter, recognize, and deal with "dark patterns" online?
  2. How does partitioned or drip pricing, including hidden or shrouded fees, affect consumer access, search, choice, and other behavior in traditional and online marketplaces?
  3. How do consumers deal with and value privacy, data access and data security?
  4. How do consumers express their voice online through consumer reviews, complaints, or social media posts? How do consumers process information from these sources, as well as other non-price attributes such as product descriptions, different varieties of a product, or the details of subscription programs?
  5. How should one define and measure the role of personalized pricing, recommendation algorithms, generative artificial intelligence, and other new technologies in consumer choice and decision making?
  6. What pricing, marketing, and data strategies do firms use in digital marketplaces? How do they differ from those in traditional markets? How do they evolve over time? These issues include, but are not limited to, online influencers, marketer disclosure of commercial sponsorship, buy now pay later, rent to own, automatic subscription, digital targeting and tracking, and other new marketing techniques.
  7. How should one measure consumer injury from consumer protection violations, or consumer benefits from consumer protection rules?

    In addition to these specific topics, we would welcome research that:
  8. Evaluates past, current, and future government regulations on consumer protection and related issues; 
  9. Develops new methodologies to understand consumer and firm behavior, including theoretical, empirical and experimental approaches; or
  10. Discovers new behavioral biases that play an important role in consumer behavior, firm strategy, and government regulation. 

Interested participants should submit an abstract or completed paper by July 31, 2024 to Preference will be given to completed papers. You should receive an email confirmation receipt of your submission. If you do not, it means that we have not received it. Accepted participants should expect to provide a financial disclosure statement meeting the AEA’s guidelines to be included in their conference bio. 

Scientific committee:

•    K. Sudhir, Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management
•    Ginger Jin, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Department of Economics
•    A. Yesim Orhun, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Michigan Ross School of Business
•    Devesh Raval, Deputy Director, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics
•    Nellie Lew, Assistant Director, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics

•    Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics
•    Yale School of Management
•    INFORMS Society of Marketing Science (ISMS)

This conference will be held from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, October 18, 2024 at the Constitution Center Plaza Level Conference Center, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024, After the conference, there will be an optional dinner for which the participants will pay separately.
Pre-registration for this conference is necessary. To pre-register, please e-mail your name, affiliation, and whether you intend to participate in the conference dinner to Attendees must register for the conference dinner by October 1, 2024. If space permits, we may allow a very limited number of onsite registrations beginning at 8:15 am on October 18.
We will use your email address to contact you with information about the conference and will share your name and email address with the conference co-sponsors. The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s system for mailing lists. For more details, please see the FTC Privacy Policy.

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