Potential social value from data: an application of discrete choice analysis

A new working paper by Diane Coyle and Annabel Manley looks to contribute to the ‘grand challenge’ of understanding the value of data to our society.


Data is understood to be a key digital economy resource and yet one that is difficult to value, as there are relatively few market prices for data. In addition its non-rival nature and pervasive externalities mean there will also be a wedge between any market price and the social value of the data. This paper proposes an approach to estimating the social value of certain kinds of data sets using a discrete choice approach, and a methodology that could for example be used by public bodies to understand the value of their data investments. We test this approach on a specific data set as proof of concept.

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We are grateful for funding for this work from the Omidyar Network


  • About the author

    Professor Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy

    Professor Coyle co-directs the Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes.   Learn more

    Diane Coyle 2018
  • About the author

    Annabel Manley, Research Assistant

    Annabel is a Research Assistant at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.   Learn more

    Annabel Manley