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The pre-history of econophysics and the history of economics: Boltzmann versus the marginalists

Geoffrey Poitras ()

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2018, vol. 507, issue C, 89-98

Abstract: This paper contrasts developments in the pre-history of econophysics with the history of economics. The influence of classical physics on contributions of 19th century marginalists is identified and connections to the subsequent development of neoclassical economics discussed. The pre-history of econophysics is traced to a seminal contribution in the history of statistical mechanics: the classical ergodicity hypothesis introduced by L. Boltzmann. The subsequent role of the ergodicity hypothesis in empirical testing of the deterministic theories of neoclassical economics is identified. The stochastic models used in modern economics are compared with the more stochastically complex models of statistical mechanics used in econophysics. The influence of phenomenology in econophysics is identified and discussed.

Keywords: Ergodicity; Ludwig Boltzmann; Econophysics; Neoclassical economics; Marginal revolution; Phenomenology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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