asymmetric information

noun

Definition of asymmetric information

economics
: information relating to a transaction in which one party has relevant information that is not known by or available to the other party
  • Writing in an economics text about variances in the prices paid for art, [Steven] Cheung wrote that “asymmetric information,” when one party knows more than the other, causes deceptive and unfair conduct. Buyers lacking information judge the quality by price, he wrote, and a “phony high price” was “often encountered in the arts market.”
  • —Duff WilsonSeattle Times27 Jan. 2003
  • Unlike buying a piece of fruit or a shirt, where customers know exactly what they are purchasing, in markets with asymmetric information buyers do not know whether they are receiving the service or product that is in their best interest.
  • —Charles Scott et al.Baltimore Sun29 Mar. 2010
— compare adverse selection

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First Known Use of asymmetric information

1980


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