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Valuing Others’ Information under Imperfect Expectations

A Cross-Individual Perspective on Harmful Information and Stock Market Price Reactions


Sometimes we believe that others receive harmful information. However, Marschak’s value of information framework always assigns non-negative value under expected utility: it starts from the decision maker’s beliefs – and one can never anticipate information’s harmfulness for oneself. The impact of decision makers’ capabilities to process information and of their expectations remains hidden behind the individual and subjective perspective Marschak’s framework assumes. By introducing a second decision maker as a point of reference, this paper introduces a way for evaluating others’ information from a cross-individual, imperfect expectations perspective for agents maximising expected utility. We define the cross-value of information that can become negative – then the information is “harmful” from a cross-individual perspective – and we define (mutual) cost of limited information processing capabilities and imperfect expectations as an opportunity cost from this same point of reference. The simple relationship between these two expected utility-based concepts and Marschak’s framework is shown, and we discuss evaluating short-term reactions of stock market prices to new information as an important domain of valuing others’ information.

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Correspondence to Hagen Lindstädt.

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Lindstädt, H. Valuing Others’ Information under Imperfect Expectations. Theor Decis 62, 335–353 (2007).

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  • value of information
  • decision under risk
  • imperfect expectations
  • cross-value of information
  • harmful information
  • stock market prices


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