The Analytics of Uncertainty and Information
J.Hirshleifer and John G.Riley
University of California.Los Angeles
A Slightly Condensed Version of this paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature
Recent intellectual advances in the theory of uncertainty and information are presented in this book, which unifies many important but partial results into a satisfying single picture, making it clear how the economics of uncertainty and information generalizes and extends standard economic analysis. Part 1 covers the economics of uncertainty: each person adapts to a given fixed state of knowledge by making an optimal choice among the immediate "terminal" actions available. These choices in turn determine the overall market equilibrium reflecting the social distribution of risk-bearing. In Part 2, covering the economics of information, the state of knowledge is no longer held fixed, and individuals can overcome their ignorance by "informational" actions. The text also addresses many specific topics such as insurance, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, auctions, deterrence of entry, and research and invention.
1. Elements of decision under uncertainty; 2. Risk-bearing: the optimum of the individual; 3. Comparative statics of the risk-bearing optimum; 4. Market equilibrium under uncertainty; 5. Information and informational decisions; 6. The economics of emergent public information; 7. The production of information and its dissemination; 8. Informational asymmetry and contract design; 9. Strategic uncertainty and equilibrium concepts; 10. The economics of contests; 11. Competition and hidden knowledge; 12. Long-run relationships and the credibility of threats and promises.
"A presentation of intellectual advances in the field written in readable form." Business Horizons