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2008年10月1-2日东亚管理协会国际联盟(IFEAMA)第九届年会上的论文与发言

基于信息的生产有效性及其经济分析[]

王 健[]

[摘要]基于信息的科学定义, 从信息的稀缺性角度,本文首先分析了信息不完全、不对称、不确定性、信息熵,以及风险等经济概念之间的关系,并指出,减少不确定性是人类文明与信息需求的主要根源;其次,通过建立以信息为投入要素的生产函数,讨论了生产的有效性及其信息的经济系统功能,给出了提高系统效率的条件,明确了信息发挥作用的三要素,以及信息的负熵作用等;最后,根据信息的经济学意义,面向非完全竞争的信息市场发展建立了信息需求分析模型,通过均衡分析获得了信息市场的均衡条件,即信息市场定价和市场规模变化的规律和特征。这些结果为信息价格策略的制定,信息市场培育和推进信息化水平提供了理论依据。

[关键词]信息熵 不确定性 生产的有效性 信息需求

 

1.引言

信息作为一种客观存在,关于信息的含义众说纷纭,信息在英、法、德文都是Information。信息论奠基人申农(C. E. Shannon1948)认为:信息熵“Hn=-åPilnPi的量化形式对于信息理论起的核心作用是关于信息、选择和不确定性的度量”[1]。过去的半个多世纪中,这一定义在通讯和自然科学许多领域取得了巨大的成就并对经济学与管理科学产生了深刻的影响。肯尼斯·J.·阿罗说:“不确定性具有经济成本,因而,不确定性的减少就是一项收益[2]”(Kenneth J. Arrow1988)。

一个理性的共识是,减少不确定性是人类文明与信息需求的主要根源。不确定性(Uncertainty)是指事件在某种条件下出现某种后果的几率不能被可靠地定量化。不确定性不同于不知道(Not-knowing)或者无知(Ignorance),因为从不知道或者无知达到不确定性还缺少某些产生预感(hunch)的情景(Cases)或者条件(Conditions[3] [4]

首先,稀缺性是经济学研究的起点和归宿,按照经济学逻辑不具备信息的决策被认为是盲目的决策、非理性的决策。在不确定性的条件下的决策科学采取的是博弈论的方法,然而,如何来获取信息以改善决策的条件,减少不确定性,则成为普遍性的问题。

其次,关于信息的相对稀缺性,信息经济研究中存在三种情况,即信息不完全、信息不对称和信息能力的差异性。由于信息不完全性导致了经济学要研究如何来获取更多的有效信息,如何来加工整理、组织传递,以及合理的配置与有效地利用这些信息等问题;关于信息存在不对称的情况下,当事双方占有的信息不同,也可以看成为经济生活中存在的信息相对稀缺性问题。对此,信息经济学研究了如何进行均衡分析,认识逆向选择,建立委托-代理关系,设计激励相容的约束机制,以及规避道德风险等问题。由于个人利用信息能力的差异性,还导致了有限理性假设和主观期望效用(SEU)理论[5]学说。

再次,通过进一步地研究,我们还可以发现获取信息一般是有条件的,有条件的信息熵不小于甚至大于无条件信息熵 [6]。信息熵越大表明不确定性越高,有效的信息会越少。条件可以分为主观条件与客观条件。信息能力是指人们能否根据主客观条件充分利用信息来进行有效的决策,这种能力尤其包括在人类的各种社会经济活动中应用科技进步来提高决策的水准。

本文的研究是基于信息的稀缺性,选择、存在关系和系统条件所进行的有关经济分析的一部分,目的在于探讨决策损失最小或收益最大化的有效生产过程中,面向市场经济体制分析信息的经济需求。

2.信息能有效地增加生产

假定生产系统是一个开放的投入产出过程。在这一人工干预的系统中,物质、能量和信息都是有序的投入要素,模型中它们都是可观测、可控制的非负变量[③]

定义1:设IÎRI是系统信息投入的集合;设M(I) ÎRM 是系统物质投入的集合,并且物质投入的多少与生产者的知识、经验有关;E(I) ÎRE是系统中能量投入的集合,能量投入的多少也与生产者的技术知识有关[7]

YÎRK是系统产出的有用产品;上述投入的集合(MEI)称为系统要素投入的空间。

定义2:变量之间的函数关系,设

             [M(I)E(I)I]Î DÉR3 ,如果有

             f : D®R

      则有:

定义3:定义      为一个YÌ [Y,-M(I),-E(I),-I]的函数。其中,D是全部投入要素构成的空间,R是系统可能的产出,f是投入与产出之间表明系统有序性转化的对应函数关系。该函数关系还可写成为:

       

式中,Y是系统的产出;M是物质投入,E是能量投入;IK是系统的诱导信息,它是反映系统结构状态和自组织性能的重要因素。一个系统之所以不同于另外一个系统是因为K的不同,它表明的是系统特性参数的整体,代表着系统的全部参考结构的参数集合。

系统中生产的有效性的意义在于,仅当我们不能发现任何Y*ÎY,使得Y*³Y,说明这时产出Y是有效的。这意味着,同样的投入不能生产更多的产品,同样的产出不能以较少的投入来获取。尤其是,如果Ii<Ij,有ij存在M(Ii)³M(Ij)E(Ii)³E(Ij),使得Y(ki)<Y(kj)则系统是一个高效率、高组织化的状态。

上述的生产函数假设,实质上是定义了一种产出依赖于特定知识或者信息的集合,知识是信息的集合体,本质上知识是由信息的复杂结构复合而成的,包含复杂的信息机制和庞大的信息系统构成。于是,产出的多少以及产品的质量依赖于系统信息的投入变化。

这样,可以得到一个关于信息的生产函数Y=fI,以及生产的反函数,即信息需求函数I=gY。然而,现代的经济学理论指出,信息具有不完全性、不确定性,以及不对称性等新的经济学特征。生产中的不稳定性,以及存在风险应当归结为信息的不完全、不确定或者不对称。这有以下几结论:

1)假如,物质与能量的投入不增加,通过增加信息投入可以提高系统的产出效果。例如,系统的产量和质量增加,组织化和有序性增强,这些都将取决于信息的增长。也就是说,利用信息可以在不增加物、能,甚至减少消耗的情况下扩大生产可能性边界。

2)随着信息的增长能否达到一个好的经济效果,取决于信息经济的三要素:信息的数量增加,信息的存在关系的改变和信息发挥作用的条件。

3)信息集中反映了系统中的不确定性、稳定性、复杂性等风险经济特征。在一个复杂的开放系统中,信息起着负熵的作用。信息就是负熵,如同信息可以减少不确定性一样,可以看成是对信息的一种功能性定义;信息的结构性定义可以看成是人类可以识别的某些信号。物理熵的概念更多地表述了系统的结构性质,熵的大小是用混沌或无序来度量的。不确定性和无序度是相对于人们的信息处理能力而言的,这个相对的概念就是复杂性。系统越是复杂,系统中包含的不确定性越多,就越难于发现系统的规律性和稳定性的条件。

3.面向市场的信息需求分析

现实的经济体制是市场经济,日益增多的大量信息需求是经由市场实现的。除了市场机制外,信息的重要特点是有很强的共享性。由于本文的篇幅所限,这里略去了信息作为公共物品的许多特征,而重点研究由市场配置信息资源,满足信息用户对信息需求的经济学分析。信息市场因信息需求得到了迅速发展,并呈现出关于新经济的一些特殊增长方式。现实中,信息系统对用户提供的服务本身是多种多样的,主要体现在远距离通讯、声像、文字、数据传输和办公自动化方面,可以借助于互联网实现多种媒体与信息技术的资源整合。

假定,为数众多的是广大的普通信息用户,网民的信息需求有着某些大致趋同的经济特征,建立信息系统的经济效益模型可从定义系统中的用户信息需求开始。如果某个用户对信息的需求量依赖于它所要实现的有效产出,Ii=gYi),i=12n。则进一步的定义:

1)信息服务量用Ii表示。是指信息服务系统向某个用户i提供的信息服务总量,也即用户所获得的信息服务数量。

2)信息用户费用以ciIi)表示。它是信息服务量的需求函数,即信息系统向某个用户i提供信息服务量Ii时用户所须支付的费用。

3)信息服务系统的支付费用表为e )。是信息系统提供的各种信息服务量Ii的函数,e是系统的总费用。

根据上述定义,可以得到信息服务系统的效益模型πI)如下:

为了求出既使用户满意又能保证系统收益达到最大的均衡条件,可以求πI)的极大值,同时兼顾最佳的用户费用ci。对(1)式两边求导:

于是得:

只要(2)式成立,信息服务系统的效益就可以达到最大化。

假设系统对任何用户服务的边际费用都相等,即:

在非完全竞争市场上,求导de/dI。已知,用户费用ci也即其支付的价格,于是,利用(2)式得到:

4)式中, 可以表示用户i的需求弹性。同样, 我们可以得到 可以看出,用户费用(价格)越高,需求量就越低。

为进一步说明问题,由(3)(4)两式可知:

结果与启示:

根据(4)式,如果 ,同样对于用户j也成立,说明用户的信息需求都是富有弹性的;根据(5)式,如果用户i的信息需求弹性大于用户j的信息需求弹性,即( ),则用户j所支付的费用比用户i所支付的费用高,即(ci<cj)。表明用户的信息支付费用与其需求弹性是成反比的。

需要指出的是,在非完全竞争的信息市场上,扩大信息需求规模,提高需求弹性,降低信息费用,真正依靠“薄利多销”来增加收益,才能推进信息化水平,满足日益增长的信息需求。信息科技进步使得信息市场供给有很强的潜力,关键是,任何信息服务系统都应认真对待每一个用户,改善信息服务的水平和质量才能获得更好地效益。以信息服务的规模和信誉度来培育市场,通过建立友好的系统界面和诚信的服务,在不断扩大服务规模的情况下,使得平均固定成本不断降低。惟有信息服务可以在系统接近零成本的情况下会给系统带来丰厚的盈利。随着信息化水平提高,带动社会生产率增长,形成良性循环,促进和谐发展。

 

参考文献:

[1] C.E. Shannon, The mathematical theory of communication, Bell System Tech. J., 1948, 27: 379-423, 623-656.

[2] Kenneth J. Arrow, 何宝玉等译.信息经济学 [M] ,北京经济学院出版社,1989

[3] S. O. Funtowicz & J. R. Ravetz, Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy, Netherlands: Kluwer, 1990.

[4] Jon’s Network. Ignorance, Uncertainty and Doubt Graphic[EB/OL]From Feynman’s The Value of ScienceJuly 8th, 2008.

[5] 张茉楠. 不确定性情境下行为决策研究之综合述评[J]. 现代管理科学.2004.11, P3740.

[6] Guiasui, S. et Theodoreascu, R. Incertitude et Information [M]. Les Presses de L’universite’ Laval, Quebec, 1971.

[7] Wang Jian. A Preliminary Systematic Analysis on the Flows of (M, E, I) in Ecologic Economy [C]. Proceedings of the International Conference: Integrated Resource Management for Sustainable Agriculture, Chief Editors: Shi Yuanchun Cheng Xu, Beijing Agricultural University Press, Sept. 1994. P472-478.

[8] Hal L. Varian. Microeconomics Analysis [M]. 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

 


Efficient Production Based on Information and it’s Economic Analysis[4]

Wang Jian[5]

[Abstract] Based on the information scientific definition, from the view of information scarcity, this paper first analyzed the relationships among those economic concepts, such as information incompletely, asymmetry, uncertainty, information entropy, as well as the risk and so on.  Therefore, it pointed out, reducing the uncertainty is the source of human civilization and the information demand; Next, it gives a production function based on taken information as the input factor.  Then it has discussed the production effectiveness and economic system’s function of information, e.g. given the condition of enhancing the system efficiency, cleared about the three essential factors of information actions, as well as taken information as negentropy flow and so on; Finally, according to the information economic significance, faced on the information economic development in imperfect competition market it has established a model of information demand analysis, and obtained the information market equilibrium condition through the analysis, namely the rules and characteristics of information market price-making and market scale change.  These results have provided the theoretical basis for the information price strategy formulation, the information market cultivation and the advancement informationization level.

[Keywords] Information Entropy; Uncertainty; Efficient Production; Information Demand.

 

1.     Introduction

It’s well known that information takes as a kind of objective existence has many of different concepts.  In British, France and German, people generally use the same word “Information”.  C. E. Shannon (1948) as the founder of information theory first gave a definition on information entropy, who pointedQuantities of the form H=-pilogpi (the constant K merely amounts to a choice of a unit of measure) play a central role in information theory as measures of information, choice and uncertainty [1].  Over 50 years, this conception in many of scientific areas, such as communication, nature, economy and management have achieved great achievements.  K. J. Arrow (1988) based on this definition said: “Uncertainty have economic costs, therefore, uncertainty reducing is a kind of revenue” [2]. 

A common cognition that is reducing uncertainty is the origin of civilization and people demand information. Uncertainty refers to the event to appear some kind of consequence under some kind of condition, and the probability can not be reliably quantitative.  Uncertainty is different from not-knowing or ignorance, because from not-knowing or ignorance to uncertainty also lacks certain hunch (premonition) case or condition. [3][4]

First, the scarcity is the economic research beginning and the home to return to, according to the economic logic decision-making without information is regarded as the blind decision-making or non-rational decision-making.  Policy decision science under the uncertainty condition has adopted the game theory method, however, how to gain the information to improve the condition of policy-making and reduce the uncertainty, becomes a general question. 

Next, about the information relative scarcity, in the information economic research has three kind of situations, namely information incompletely, information asymmetry and information ability difference.  Because information incompleteness causes the economics to study how to gain more effective information, which include how to process and reorganize, how to organize and transmit, as well as to distribute reasonably and utilize effectively are the problems of information management and economics.  About the information existed the asymmetric situation, is concerned the information which both sides hold to be different, also may regard as the information relative scarcity in process of the economic life.  For these the information economics research have carried on the equilibrium analysis, understand the inverse-choice, established the principle-agent relationship, and designed incentive and compatible with restraint mechanism, studied morals hazard aversion and so on.  As a result of individual in treat of information ability difference, also has caused the doctrines on bounded rationality hypothesis and subjective expected utility (SEU) theories [5].

Once more, through further studies, we also may discover the gain information has the condition generally.  That means if has the condition, the information entropy will be smaller than unconditionally information entropy [6].  The information entropy is bigger indicated the uncertainty is higher, that the effective information can be less.  The conditions may divide into the subjective condition and the objective condition.  The information ability refers to the people fully to carry on the effective decision-making according to the subjective and objective conditions to use information.  This kind of ability includes especially in humanity's each kind of social economy activities applying advance in technology enhances decision-making the standard.

This article research is based on the information scarcity, choice, existence relations and system conditions to make economic analysis.  It carries on is only a part of our study, which the goal lays in discussion the decision-making to seek the cost minimum or the profit maximization under the effective production process.  In market economic system this process becomes an analysis on information economic demand.

2.     Information Increases Production Efficiently

Supposes the production system is an opening inputs-output production process.  In this artificial intervened system, the material, the energy and the information is all the orderly input factors.  In the model they are all the non-negative variables which may be observed and controllable[6].

Definition 1: Supposes IÎRI is the system information input set; M(I)ÎRM is the system material input set, and material input quantity and quality many related the producer's knowledge and experience;  E(I)ÎRE in the system is the energy input set, energy input many also concerns with producer's technical knowledge.

YÎRK is the useful product which the system produced.  So the above inputs set (M, E, I) is called a space of the system input factors [7].

Definition 2: Among the variables there is a functional relationship, supposes

[M(I)E(I)I]Î DÉR3 if there is a f

f: D®R.

Then we have .

Definition 3Defined      is a function YÌ [Y,-M(I),-E(I),-I]. Among them, D is the space that constituted by the input factors; R describes the system possible output; f reveals the transformed function that orderly related between the input and output.  This functional relation may be also written as:

In the formula, Y is systematic output; M is the material input; E is the energy input; IK is the systematic induced information, it is important attribute, which reflect from the system structure situation and the organization performance.  The reason why a system is different from other system is because of the K difference, K indicates the system performance parameters as a whole, and it represents the system reference configuration parameter set completely.

In the system, the efficient production significance lies in, when we cannot find any Y*Y, make Y*Y, that explains output Y is efficient.  This meant, the similar input cannot produce more products, and same output cannot obtain by less input.  In particular, if Ii< Ij, there are i, j to have M(Ii) ³ (M(Ij) and E(Ii) ³ (E(Ij), make Y(ki)<Y(kj), then the system is in a high efficient and high organized situation.

The above production function assumptions, in the essence defined a kind of output relies on the specific knowledge or the information set.  Knowledge is an aggregate of information, essentially the knowledge is compounded by the information complex structure, which include complex information mechanism and the huge information system constitutes.  Therefore, how many output as well as the product quality relies on the system information input change.  Such as,

Thus, we can obtain a production function on information Y=f(I), as well as a production inverse function, namely information demand function I=g(Y).  However, the modern economic theory pointed out that, the information generally has some new economic characteristics, such as incompleteness, uncertainty, as well as asymmetrical and so on.  The production instability and the existence of risk must sum up as the information incomplete, uncertainty or asymmetry.  There are following several kinds of consequences:

(1) Suppose if the material and energy inputs do not increase, while the system output effect enhances, such as the output and the quality increase, the system’s organization and order strengthen, those are all decided by the information growth.  In other words, by utilize information without consume additional or even less material and energy we may expand the production possibility boundary.

(2)Whether along with the information growth achieved a good economic effect, is decided by three essential factors of the information economy: information quantity increasing, information existence relations changing and information function displaying condition.

(3)Information concentrated to reflect the economical characteristics of risk in system uncertainty, stability, and complexity and so on.  In a complex open system, the information is playing the negative entropy role.  The information is the negative entropy, that is similar to the information be possible to reduce the uncertainty.  We may regard it as a kind of functionality definition for information.  Then information textural definition may regard as is some kind of signal which the humanity may distinguish.  The physical entropy concept more has indicated the system structural property, the size of entropy is measured with the system chaos or disorder.  The uncertainty and the disorder is opposite, which relate to the people's information-handling capacity, thus, there is a relative concept about the complexity.  The system is more complex, the uncertainty in the system contains are more, more difficulty with discovery of the system regularity and stability conditions.

3.     Information Demand Analysis Faced on Market

The realistic economic system is the market economy.  Day by day increased a large number of information demands are by way of the market realization.  Besides the market mechanism, the important characteristic of information is its very strong sharing.  Because the article length limits, the economic analysis here left out the many characteristics of information to take as the public goods, then the key research using market to distribute information resource to satisfy the information user for the information demand.  The information market obtained the rapid development because of the information demand increasing, and presents some special growth way of the new economy.  In the current, the information system provides to the user serves itself is many and varied, mainly manifests in the long-distance communication, sound image, characters, data transmission and office automation aspects, with the aid of Internet realized multiple media and information technology resources integration. 

Supposes, the numerous is ordinary information users, web-people's information demands have some tendency approximately with the same economical characteristics.  To establish the economic benefit model of information system is able to start from the definition of system user's information demand.  If a user rely on the quantity of the information demand to realize his efficient output, let Ii=g(Yi), i=1,2,…, n.  Then we can give the further definitions as following:

(1) Information service quantity expressed with Ii.  It refers to the information service system provides the information service in total quantity to some user i, is also the information service quantity which the user obtains.

(2) Information user expense indicated by ci(Ii).  It is a demand function of the information service quantity, namely when the information system provides information service quantity Ii to some user i which the user must pay the expense ci.

(3) Information service system expending function expressed by

e ( ).

It is a function of every kind of information service quantity Ii which the information system provided.  So that e is the systematic total expense.

According to the above definitions, we can obtain the information service system benefit model π (I) to be expressed as follows:

In order to extract user satisfaction and simultaneously to guarantee the system equilibrium condition with profit maximum, solve the extreme value on πI),at same time considering to optimal user expense ci.   Make derivation on two sides to formula (1):

Thus we have

As long as formula (2) is tenable, the information service system benefit may achieve the maximization.

Suppose the system marginal expense is all equal to service any user, namely:

In the non-perfect competition market, derives de/dI.  Known, user expense ci also namely its payment price, therefore from formula (2) we get

In formula (4) is named the demand elasticity of user i.  Similarly, we can obtain .  It is clearlyeach user’s costpriceis higherhis information demand quantity should be lower.

For further explains the question, from formulas (3) and (4) we may know:

Outcomes and enlightenment

According to formula (4), if , which similarly regarding user j, it is showing user's information demand all is rich elastic.  Formula (5) indicated, if the information demand elasticity of user i is bigger than that of user j, means , thus, user j will pay higher cost than that of user I, namelyci<cj.  It indicates that both information payment expense of the user and the elasticity of information demand are used in reverse proportionally.

We want to point out, to advance the level of informationization and satisfy information demand growing day by day, in non prefect competition information market, to expand the information demand scale, enhance the elasticity of demand, and reduce the information expense, by means of “small profits but quick turnover” to increase the income.  The information technology in advance enables the information market supplies to have the very strong potential, however the key is, any information service system should treat each user earnestly, improves their information service in the level and the quality, they can obtain the well benefit.  Cultivate the market by the information service scale and creditworthiness, through the establishment of friendly system interface and the good faith service, in the situation of unceasingly to expand the service scale, makes the average fixed cost in reducing continually.  So that only the information service be possible to a close zero cost, in this case it will bring the strong gain to the system.   Enhancing along with the informationization level, can grow social productivity, forms the virtuous circle to promote the development harmoniously.

 

References:

[1] C.E. Shannon, The mathematical theory of communication, Bell System Tech. J., 1948, 27: 379-423, 623-656.

[2] Kenneth J. Arrow, (Trans. by He Baoyu). Information Economics [M], Beijing Economic College Publishing House, 1989

[3] S. O. Funtowicz & J. R. Ravetz, Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy, Netherlands: Kluwer, 1990.

[4] Jon’s Network. Ignorance, Uncertainty and Doubt Graphic[EB/OL]From Feynman’s The Value of ScienceJuly 8th, 2008.

[5] Zhang Monan. Review on the Studies of Decision-making under Uncertainty Situation [J]. Modern Management Science.2004.11, P3740.

[6] Guiasui, S. et Theodoreascu, R. Incertitude et Information [M]. Les Presses de L’universite’ Laval, Quebec, 1971.

[7] Wang Jian. A Preliminary Systematic Analysis on the Flows of (M, E, I) in Ecologic Economy [C]. Proceedings of the International Conference: Integrated Resource Management for Sustainable Agriculture, Chief Editors: Shi Yuanchun Cheng Xu, Beijing Agricultural University Press, Sept. 1994. P472-478.

[8] Hal L. Varian. Microeconomics Analysis [M]. 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.



[]本文属河北农业大学社科基金课题(NoFSZ200744)部分研究成果。

[]作者系河北农业大学经济学教授,博士生导师。Tel. 0312-7528631; Email: wangjian@hebau.edu.cn

[] 以下的三个定义最初来自于论文[7];详见《信息经济与管理》,新疆人民出版社(第二版),20027月,第196-198页。

[4] This article is a part of study results from social science program at Agricultural University of Hebei (fund topic No:FSZ200744).

[5]The author is a professor in economics and postgraduate sponsor in Economic Trade and Business College at Agricultural University of Hebei,

Address: College of Economics and Trade, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding. Hebei, P. R. China, 071000; Tel. 0312-7528631; Email: wangjian@hebau.edu.cn.

[6]. Following three definitions first came from the article [7]; more detailed in “Information Economics and Management”. Xinjiang People’s Publishing-House (2ed), July, 2002, pp196-198.

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