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

  • 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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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
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  29. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  30. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  31. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  32. 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.
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  35. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 219-55, April.
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  41. 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 233-61, October.
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