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Crowding Out Wasteful Activities by Wasteful Activities

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  • Amihai Glazer

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

A seller can benefit from information about the valuation a potential buyer places on the good. Under some circumstances, improved information raises social welfare. But under other circumstances, the information has private value but no social value, so that agents may spend too much on collecting information. A government which collects and disseminates some information about valuations can limit spending by private agents on data collection, thereby increasing social welfare. That is, governmental provision of information may be useful not because information is socially useful, but because it limits the amount private agents spend on collecting information.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 080908.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:080908

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Keywords: Information; Rent seeking;

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  1. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
  2. Cornand, Camille & Heinemann, Frank, 2006. "Optimal Degree of Public Information Dissemination," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 158, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Privacy, Time Consistent Optimal Labour Income Taxation and Education Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Social Costs of Monopoly and Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 807-27, August.
  5. Marshall, John M, 1974. "Private Incentives and Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 373-90, June.
  6. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1998. "Limit Pricing and Entry Under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Levine's Working Paper Archive 245, David K. Levine.
  7. Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
  8. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
  9. Jacob Wong, 2008. "Information acquisition, dissemination, and transparency of monetary policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 46-79, February.
  10. Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Rent Seeking: A Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 575-602.
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