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A Nobel Prize for Asymmetric Information: The economic contributions of George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz

Listed author(s):
  • J. Barkley Rosser

This paper reviews the research related to the asymmetric information of George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz, for which they jointly received the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics. After recounting their overall careers, the history of the asymmetric information idea is presented and their key papers are discussed. This is followed by an examination of various applications of the concept, including in industrial organization and microeconomic dynamics, efficiency wage theories of unem ployment, credit market rationing theory, and issues of economic development and global stability. The degree to which these latter theories can be considered to be truly Keynesian is also considered.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09538250308445
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 3-21

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Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:15:y:2003:i:1:p:3-21
DOI: 10.1080/09538250308445
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  1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 219-255.
  2. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  3. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-345, May.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
  5. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
  6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2000. "Capital Market Liberalization, Economic Growth, and Instability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1075-1086, June.
  8. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1974. "Limited Knowledge and Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 1-10, March.
  9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  10. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
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  12. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  13. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
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  19. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
  20. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1985. "On Endogenous Competitive Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 995-1045, September.
  21. Spence, Michael, 1974. "Competitive and optimal responses to signals: An analysis of efficiency and distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 296-332, March.
  22. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  23. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1992. "Capital markets and economic fluctuations in capitalist economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 269-306, April.
  24. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Examining Alternative Macroeconomic Theories," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 207-270.
  25. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  26. Akerlof, George A, 1984. "Gift Exchange and Efficiency-Wage Theory: Four Views," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 79-83, May.
  27. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  28. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-139, May.
  29. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "The Contributions of the Economics of Information to Twentieth Century Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1441-1478.
  30. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
  31. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  32. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Learning to Believe in Sunspots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 277-307, March.
  33. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
  34. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411-411.
  35. Roger Koppl & J. Barkley Rosser Jr, 2002. "All That I Have to Say Has Already Crossed Your Mind," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 339-360, November.
  36. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
  37. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  38. Solow, Robert M., 1979. "Another possible source of wage stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 79-82.
  39. A. Michael Spence, 1980. "Notes on Advertising, Economies of Scale, and Entry Barriers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 493-507.
  40. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
  41. Braverman, Avishay & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "Sharecropping and the Interlinking of Agrarian Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 695-715, September.
  42. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "The Theory of "Screening," Education, and the Distribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 283-300, June.
  43. Michael Spence, 1978. "Tacit Co-ordination and Imperfect Information," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(3), pages 490-505, August.
  44. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
  45. George A. Akerlof, 2003. "Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 47(1), pages 25-47, March.
  46. Lipman, Barton L, 1991. "How to Decide How to Decide How to. . . : Modeling Limited Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1105-1125, July.
  47. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  48. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Post Walrasian and Post Marxian Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 109-114, Winter.
  49. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-253, May.
  50. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1999. "Responding to Economic Crises: Policy Alternatives for Equitable Recovery and Development," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(5), pages 409-427, Special I.
  51. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
  52. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-720, September.
  53. Roger Koppl & Barkley Rosser, 2002. "All that I have to say will already have crossed your mind," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 185, Society for Computational Economics.
  54. Michael Spence, 1977. "Consumer Misperceptions, Product Failure and Producer Liability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 561-572.
  55. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  56. Dwight M. Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1976. "Imperfect Information, Uncertainty, and Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 651-666.
  57. Rosser, J Barkley, Jr, 1990. "Chaos Theory and the New Keynesian Economics," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 58(3), pages 265-291, September.
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  60. George Akerlof, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617.
  61. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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  64. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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