The Economics of Imperfect Knowledge


The Economics of Imperfect Knowledge

Collected Papers of G.B. Richardson

9781858988498 Edward Elgar Publishing
G.B. Richardson, formerly Chief Executive of Oxford University Press and Warden of Keble College, Oxford, UK
Publication Date: 1998 ISBN: 978 1 85898 849 8 Extent: 224 pp
The Economics of Imperfect Knowledge will be welcomed by those interested in microeconomic theory, industrial organization and competition policy.

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The central theme of this important book is that the knowledge on which business decisions are taken is limited and uncertain, and that the availability of this knowledge is affected by the nature of the market structure in place.

G.B. Richardson argues that the accepted theoretical models of market economies are generally based on assumptions about the knowledge possessed by economic agents which are ill-specified and unrealistic. As a result these models fail to explain properly how the economy really works. He examines the availability to firms of the information they need, as a function of the market structure within which they operate. Neglect of this relationship, he maintains, has rendered invalid the currently prevailing accounts of how markets allocate resources, and new criteria are proposed for judging the efficiency of alternative market forms. The book offers a fresh analysis of competition and cooperation between firms and of the process of innovation.

The Economics of Imperfect Knowledge will be welcomed by those interested in microeconomic theory, industrial organization and competition policy.
Critical Acclaim
‘Though most of G.B. Richardson’s writings are from the period 1953–1972, their relevance to modern economics is of enormous significance. They deserve to be read by a wide audience, ranging from those who teach the basics of supply and demand, through to industrial economists, those who work on competition policy, and anyone involved in the economics of transition (a process which would have been far less painful if more informed by Richardson’s ideas). Taken together, Richardson’s writings form a remarkably coherent and constructive critique of the conventional wisdom on how market processes work. The whole picture is best grasped by following his own gradual process of enlightenment and this collection is a wonderfully convenient tool for doing this, not least of all because of the delightful introduction in which Richardson reflects on how his thinking has evolved.’
– Peter E. Earl, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Contents: Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Imperfect Knowledge and Economic Efficiency 2. Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis 3. Demand and Supply Reconsidered 4. Equilibrium, Expectations and Information 5. The Limits to a Firm’s Rate of Growth 6. The Theory of Restrictive Trade Practices 7. The Pricing of Heavy Electrical Equipment 8. Price Notification Schemes 9. Planning Versus Competition 10. The Organisation of Industry 11.Adam Smith on Competition and Increasing Returns 12. Competition, Innovation and Increasing Returns 13. Economic Analysis, Public Policy and the Software Industry Index
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