The Economy of Surveillance

35 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 1 Feb 2014

Date Written: February 10, 2010


Surveillance is integral to modern societies. This paper considers the economic forces behind surveillance, the use of surveillance in the private sector, and the social consequences for the continued growth of surveillance over the past several centuries. It argues that the demand for surveillance of people will grow, while the cost of providing surveillance continues to fall. As a result, surveillance will feed upon itself, with detrimental social consequences.

Keywords: surveillance, business history, credit reporting, management

JEL Classification: N8, K2, I86, N21

Suggested Citation

Lipartito, Kenneth, The Economy of Surveillance (February 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Kenneth Lipartito (Contact Author)

Florida International University ( email )

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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