Grant Program Request for Proposals: The Consumer Welfare Effects of Targeted Advertising

The International Centre for Law & Economics (ICLE) seeks to commission one or more detailed studies into the effects of targeted advertising on competition, innovation, and consumer welfare in the wider economy.

Funding Priorities

While contemporary debates about targeted online ads have considered the effect of data collection on user privacy, publishers, and the ad intermediaries themselves, the effects of ad targeting on the companies that use these ads, the markets they operate in, and the consumers who purchase advertised products are less widely discussed and well-understood. 

We are particularly interested in work that explores the following areas:

  1. The effects of targeting on the ability of smaller firms to innovate and compete, and on competition overall;
  2. The effect of targeted ads on the kinds of products that consumers are offered—for example by allowing more specialized products to be marketed—their prices, and consumer purchasing decisions; and 
  3. The role of advertising generally, and personalized advertising in particular, in creating “common knowledge” that endows products with intangible qualities that increase consumer welfare. 

We are also happy to consider other proposed topics or approaches addressing issues along these or similar lines.


ICLE would welcome short (less than one page) proposals to carry out a study into some or all of these areas, with particular preference for empirical work.

Funding levels and grant periods will be commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. 

ICLE will work with the authors of accepted proposals to disseminate the research findings. 

Please email [email protected] for further information. We would appreciate indications of interest by Nov. 1, but are flexible about further deadlines.

About ICLE

The International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global research and policy center. ICLE works with more than fifty affiliated scholars and research centers around the world to promote the use of evidence-based methodologies in developing sensible, economically grounded policies that will promote consumer welfare and enable markets and innovation to flourish.