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The Law of Large Demand for Information


  • Giuseppe Moscarini

    () (Yale University)

  • Lones Smith

    () (University of Michigan)


An unresolved problem in Bayesian decision theory is how to value and price information. This paper resolves both problems assuming inexpensive information. Building on Large Deviation Theory, we produce a generically complete asymptotic order on samples of i.i.d. signals in finite-state, finite-action models. Computing the marginal value of an additional signal, we find it is eventually exponentially falling in quantity, and higher for lower quality signals. We provide a precise formula for the information demand, valid at low prices: asymptotically a constant times the log price, and falling in the signal quality for a given price. Copyright The Econometric Society 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 2002. "The Law of Large Demand for Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2351-2366, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:70:y:2002:i:6:p:2351-2366

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars Ehlers & Bettina Klaus, 2003. "Coalitional strategy-proof and resource-monotonic solutions for multiple assignment problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 265-280, October.
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    5. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "A Concept of Egalitarianism under Participation Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 615-635, May.
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    7. Lars-Gunnar Svensson, 1999. "Strategy-proof allocation of indivisible goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 557-567.
    8. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Moulin, Herve, 2001. "A New Solution to the Random Assignment Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 295-328, October.
    9. Dutta, B, 1990. "The Egalitarian Solution and Reduced Game Properties in Convex Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 19(2), pages 153-169.
    10. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "The Efficient Allocation of Individuals to Positions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 293-314, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Keppo, Jussi & Moscarini, Giuseppe & Smith, Lones, 2008. "The demand for information: More heat than light," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 21-50, January.
    2. Duffie, Darrell & Malamud, Semyon & Manso, Gustavo, 2010. "The relative contributions of private information sharing and public information releases to information aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1574-1601, July.
    3. Vlastakis, Nikolaos & Markellos, Raphael N., 2012. "Information demand and stock market volatility," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1808-1821.
    4. Moussa, Faten & Delhoumi, Ezzeddine & Ouda, Olfa Ben, 2017. "Stock return and volatility reactions to information demand and supply," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 54-67.
    5. Antonio Cabrales & Olivier Gossner & Roberto Serrano, 2017. "A normalized value for information purchases," Working Papers 2017-51, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics, revised 05 Jan 2017.
    6. Lindset, Snorre & Lund, Arne-Christian & Matsen, Egil, 2009. "Optimal information acquisition for a linear quadratic control problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 199(2), pages 435-441, December.
    7. repec:eee:jimfin:v:80:y:2018:i:c:p:59-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. De Jaegher, K. & Kamphorst, J.J.A., 2015. "Minimal two-way flow networks with small decay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 217-239.
    9. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
    10. Stefano Ficco & Vladimir A. Karamychev, 2004. "Information Overload in Multi-Stage Selection Procedures," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-077/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Stefano Ficco, 2004. "Information Overload in Monopsony Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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