What does economics assume about people's knowledge?

The purpose of the paper is to explore, from an assessment viewpoint, the following ideas. Economics, as a social science, has always considered sets of individuals with assumed characteristics (namely, the level of knowledge), although in an implicit way, in most of the cases. In this sense, an influential approach in economics assumed that society, as a global set of individuals, was characterized by a certain level of knowledge, that, indeed, could be associated with one of its representative agents. In fact, an attentive recall of the evolution of these matters in economics will immediately recognize that, since the very first economic models of the government, it was assumed that the level of knowledge of society, represented by a set of voters, was not the same as one of the agents elected, i.e., the government. The irrelevance of the difference in the level of knowledge of economic agents was soon abandoned after some seminal works of Hayek and Friedman. More recently, the viewpoint of economics has changed, by focusing on the characteristics (e.g., knowledge) of individuals, who may interact in the subsets of the society. Given the close connection with the assumed level of knowledge, it is clearly relevant from this point of view, to distinguish adaptive behavior from the rational one by people, as well as the full rational from the bounded rationality behavior. Quite recent developments in the economics of knowledge, i.e., the so-called learning models, have been considered as more realistic approaches to model the process by which individuals acquire knowledge, for instance, from other individuals who are, themselves, acquiring knowledge.
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