The Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to George Akerloff, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz for their pioneering work in the area of information economics in 2001. The premise of their research was that many markets are imperfect because information asymmetries exist in which one party to a transaction has more information than the other party. The subtext here is that information has value and that benefits can accrue to those who possess it.

The views of Akerloff, Spence and Stiglitz are simple but profound in that they challenged the fundamental economic assumption that markets had perfect information, i.e., that everyone had pertinent information.

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