Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Paul Hurley

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2023 William A Spangler


This thesis examines the obscure and convoluted economics of the data industry, which has proven to be a major force in shaping the world economy and public discourse. This paper argues that the most prevalent failure of the current system is the lack of account for the economic value generated by consumer data. Chapter 1 presents a model of the data economy that helps conceptualise the micro and macro workings of the market, and Chapter 2 addresses the moral concerns surrounding the data economy. The paper proposes a new theoretical dynamic for the data economy in a world where all transactions are recorded on the blockchain in Chapter 3, allowing consumers to engage in the data market and enhancing the market forces that drive the industry. By leveraging blockchain technology, this solution presents an economy in which both firms and consumers have better control and trust in the data that is being supplied and traded, addressing both the moral and economic flaws in the current system.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.