Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of fall quarter 2020, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page. 

Economics 103 - Economics of Uncertainty and Information

This course deals with how uncertainty affects the actions and decisions of economic agents and how markets are impacted by the presence of uncertainty. Insurance markets are a typical example of institutions that have arisen to help economic agents deal with uncertainty. There are different forms of uncertainty.


Giacomo Bonanno






A particularly important one is associated with the phenomenon of asymmetric information, where where one party to a potential transaction has more information about relevant facts than the other party (e.g. the seller of a durable second-hand good has information about the quality of the good that is not available to the buyer). Typically, information cannot be  credibly transmitted from one party to the other, because the informed party's incentive is to hide negative information. In such situations markets might fail and society might get stuck in an inefficient situation. The course examines different types of uncertainty and the problems that they give rise to.