Information markets and nonmarkets

Handbook of industrial organization, 2021
Bergemann, Dirk; Ottaviani, Marco

As large amounts of data become available and can be communicated more easily and processed more effectively, information has come to play a central role for economic activity and welfare in our age. This essay overviews contributions to the industrial organization of information markets and nonmarkets, while attempting to maintain a balance between foundational frameworks and more recent developments. We start by reviewing mechanism-design approaches to modeling the trade of information. We then cover ratings, predictions, and recommender systems. We turn to forecasting contests, prediction markets, and other institutions designed for collecting and aggregating information from decentralized participants. Finally, we discuss science as a prototypical information nonmarket with participants who interact in a non-anonymous way to produce and disseminate information. We aim to familiarize the reader with the central notions and insights in this burgeoning literature and also point to some critical open questions that future research will have to address.