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Writing the "The Market for 'Lemons'": A Personal and Interpretive Essay

Author

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  • Akerlof, George

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

I wrote "The Market for 'Lemons,'" (a 13-page paper for which I was awarded the Prize in Economics) during my first year as assistant professor at Berkeley, in 1966-67.* "Lemons" deals with a problem as old as markets themselves. It concerns how horse traders respond to the natural question: "if he wants to sell that horse, do I really want to buy it?" Such questioning is fundamental to the market for horses and used cars, but it is also at least minimally present in every market transaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Akerlof, George, 2003. "Writing the "The Market for 'Lemons'": A Personal and Interpretive Essay," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2001-10, Nobel Prize Committee.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:nobelp:2001_010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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