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The Value of Information in Efficient Risk-Sharing Arrangements

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  • Edward E. Schlee

Abstract

Suppose that agents share risks in competitive markets. We show that better information makes everyone worse off if the economy has a representative agent--that is, the economy's demand for state-contingent consumption equals the demand of a hypothetical agent who owns all the economy's wealth. The representative agent, moreover, is normatively unrepresentative: although each agent dislikes information, the "representative" agent is indifferent. Although we emphasize pure exchange, our results imply that a representative-agent model might seriously misstate the welfare effects of improved information in an economy with production and risk sharing, even if it performs well otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward E. Schlee, 2001. "The Value of Information in Efficient Risk-Sharing Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 509-524, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:3:p:509-524 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.3.509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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