Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Information, the Tip of the Tacit Iceberg

by

Abstract

“IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND information?” is the question that participants in this symposium were asked to address. I come to the question as an historian of economic thought who has studied the Austrian tradition, and in particular the contributions of F.A. Hayek, who is remembered among information theorists for his early writings on “the knowledge problem.” An analysis of his work may be helpful in grappling with the question of this symposium. In an earlier paper I looked at differing interpretations of the socialist calculation debate and the current prospects for market socialism, and linked to issues of information and knowledge (Caldwell 1997). My remarks here draw in part on that paper.