Information and investment : a study in the working of the competitive economy


Information and investment : a study in the working of the competitive economy

G.B. Richardson ; with a new foreword by David J. Teece, a new introduction, and two new chapters

(Clarendon paperbacks)

Clarendon Press , Oxford University Press, 1997, c1990

[2nd ed]

  • : pbk

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"First published in new as paperback 1997"--t.p. verso



Information and Investment is a classic account of how market economies actually work. Rather than assuming 'perfect knowledge', it is concerned to identify the market structures and arrangements that make it possible for businessmen to have enough information to take investment decisions upon which the allocation of resources depends. It rejects the perfect competition model of economic interdependence and shows that some so-called 'market imperfections' are essential for the operation of the system. When the book was originally published, in 1960, Richardson's analysis of how market structures affect the availability of necessary information to those working within them represented anew development in economics. it provided a foundation for subsequent work and an intellectual basis for government competition policy. Lhe reissue contains two of Richardson's later papers on related issues and a forward by David J. Teece. It continues to be relevant to economic theorists concerned with the transition from collectivism to market systems in Eastern Europe and the consequent need to devise new institutions for the effective allocation of resources.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part I. The Theory of Perfect Competition: The tendency to equilibrium
  • The availability of market information
  • Part II. Information and adjustment: The co-ordination of competitive investments
  • The co-ordination of complementary investments
  • The scale of investments
  • The assortment of production
  • Competition, selection and market discipline
  • Part III. The Influence of Uncertainty: The need for adaptability
  • Attitudes towards risk
  • Risk and welfare: I. Private and social profitability
  • Risk and welfare: II. Consolidation and public ownership
  • Annexe I: The organization of industry
  • Annexe II: Planning versus competition
  • Index

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