1st Edition

Information Economics

ISBN 9780415373456
Published August 20, 2007 by Routledge
488 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations

USD $105.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This new text book by Urs Birchler and Monika Butler is an introduction to the study of how information affects economic relations. The authors provide a narrative treatment of the more formal concepts of Information Economics, using easy to understand and lively illustrations from film and literature and nutshell examples. 

The book first covers the economics of information in a 'man versus nature' context, explaining basic concepts like rational updating or the value of information. Then in a 'man versus man' setting, Birchler and Butler describe strategic issues in the use of information: the make-buy-or-copy decision, the working and failure of markets and the important role of outguessing each other in a macroeconomic context.  It closes with a 'man versus himself' perspective, focusing on information management within the individual.

This book also comes with a supporting website (www.alicebob.info), maintained by the authors.

Table of Contents

1. Why Study Information Economics?  2. How to Read this Book?  Part 1: Information as an Economic Good  3. What is Information?  4. The Value of Information  5. The Optimal Amount of Information  6. The Production of Information  Part 2: How the Market Aggregates Information  7. From Information to Prices  8. Knowing Facts or Reading Thoughts  9. Coordination Problems  10. Learning and Cascades  11. The Macroeconomics of Information  Part 3: The Economics of Information Asymmetries  12. The winner's Curse  13. Hidden Information and Self-Selection  14. Optimal Contracts  15. The Revelation Principle  16. Creating Incentives  Part 4: The Economics of Self-Knowledge  17. Me versus Myself

View More



Urs Birchler is Director at the Swiss National Bank and a former member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. He has taught at the universities of Zurich, Berne, St. Gallen and Leipzig.

Monika Butler is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of St. Gallen, CESifo Fellow and CEPR affiliate.


"If you teach advanced undergraduate microeconomics, you should be interested in this book. Birchler and Buetler have served up something genuinely novel and substantive here." - Matthew Ryan, New Zealand Economic Papers