The Information Society: Measurement issues and the impact on policy making. Discussant Luc Soete. Outline . Start with some general comments inspired, I admit, by Koenig’s apples and oranges Specific comments on the three papers Clayton’s new economy measurement
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“If members of a group have different expectations or different objectives, there is a tendency to collect too much information. In the case of different expectations, the reason for this lies in the fact that the individual expectations about the pay-offs of actions that are far in the future only coincide when large amounts of identical information are shared by the members of the group. Inefficiently large amounts of information then only serve to justify an otherwise unavoidable decision for all. If there are different objectives, collecting more information helps to put off decisions and keeping alternatives open. In both cases abundant information may well have a negative influence on welfare.“
“Another social danger that lures when too much information is available. The argument that individuals are better off with more information because they then have a better ability to determine the consequences of their choices, is based on the assumption that no options of choice disappear when more information comes available. This is certainly not always the case. Some markets exist only by the grace of incomplete information. A well-known example of this is the insurance market. If it is possible to determine with certainty that someone suffers from a certain illness or will be struck by disaster, there is no possibility of insuring against it.”