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Asymmetric Information

Asymmetric Information

  • In 2001, George A. Akerlof, A. Michael Spence, and Joseph E. Stiglitz won the prize "for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information."
  • Economic models predicated on perfect information are often misguided. In reality, one party usually has superior knowledge, such as in the car market, where sellers know more than buyers about the quality of their vehicles and can lead to a market of lemons (adverse selection.)
  • Better-informed market participants can transmit information to lesser-informed participants. Job applicants can use educational attainment as a signal to prospective employers about their likely productivity; corporations can signal their profitability to investors by issuing dividends.

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