The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Information Theory

  • Esfandiar Maasoumi
Living reference work entry


Information theory is a branch of mathematical statistics and probability theory. Thus, it can and has been applied in many fields, including economics, that rely on statistical analysis. As we are concerned with it, the technical concept of ‘information’ must be distinguished from the semantic concept in common parlance. The simplest and still the most widely used technical definitions of information were first introduced (independently) by Shannon and Wiener in 1948 in connection with communication theory. Though decisively and directly related, these definitions must also be distinguished from the definition of ‘information’ introduced by R.A. Fisher in 1925 for estimation theory.


Generalize Entropy Information Gain Information Function Social Welfare Function Semantic Concept 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esfandiar Maasoumi
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