Various Aspects of Economics of Information
3.1 Economics of information in Education
According to Farid (2007), economics of information is based on the concept that quality information is a scarce and valuable resource. The production and dissemination of information in education constitute two major economic activities, with associated costs and benefits.
The value of information depends on its degree of accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability, and relevance to issues under consideration. Information possessing these qualities is expected to help in decision-making by both the consumers and suppliers of education. Information is an economic good because scarce resources are employed in its production and dissemination. The production of information as a "life cycle," beginning with the existence of a "source" of information. This source becomes a "resource" via the processes of selection, editing, abstracting, indexing, and classification. The final stage of the cycle, "dissemination," occurs once the resource is packaged and made available to users. Costs are incurred at every stage of this "life cycle." Information is thus a product that, in some instances, is subject to the laws of supply and demand, for instance data available through Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) and other online databases.
The dissemination of information conveys some benefits including reduces or minimizes the costs to the user of time and effort spent searching for information, ensure the effective use of information through filtering processes which evaluate and tailor data to suit specific user needs, promotes efficiency by preventing waste and duplication of effort, while providing for the sharing of ideas across federal and state educational networks and also allows optimal allocation of resources by fostering informed decisions based on relevant data.
3.2 Origins of the Information Society and the Information Economy
An information economy is based on the idea that the processes of production, transmission, and use of information are replacing or at least dominating over industrial processes as they in turn did an agrarian economy centuries ago. Therefore an economy consists of different sectors, each present to a greater or lesser extent. These sectors consists of agricultural, industrial, service sometimes discussed separately from the information sector, sometimes as an intermediate stage of the information sector and also information where there is general consensus that information has changed from a common good to a commodity with market value and that it is recognized as the most important input to production (Webster, 2002).
3.3 Information as an Economic Good
An information economy is based upon the premise that information has economic value and requires an information marketplace in which such value can be exchanged (Branscomb, 1994). The nature of information as experience good means an information good...