Now, how important are the preconditions for perfect competition? When judging the true merits of the market, the answer is “not very.” Take the notion of perfect information, for example. The advantage of the market is not that it efficiently allocates resources if there is perfect information. The advantage of the market is in its distribution of information; that is, it’s the search and discovery features of markets that makes one facet of their superiority over rival forms of rationing. Take, for example, Ludwig von Mises’ critique of socialism.2 While Mises was looking to disprove the viability of common ownership of the means of production, he was also looking to make a positive contribution in theorizing on the process of price formation and information dissemination. The problem he faced was that there was no good theory of price imputation (i.e. derived demand and input prices).3 His answer was that there must be a competitive bidding process, based on the institution of private property, for the prices of the means of production to emerge. Only by these means can the information necessary for the relatively efficient allocation of inputs be known.
— Jonathan Finegold, “Thoma, Meet Hayek“