EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Applications of statistical mechanics to economics: Entropic origin of the probability distributions of money, income, and energy consumption

Victor Yakovenko ()

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: This Chapter is written for the Festschrift celebrating the 70th birthday of the distinguished economist Duncan Foley from the New School for Social Research in New York. This Chapter reviews applications of statistical physics methods, such as the principle of entropy maximization, to the probability distributions of money, income, and global energy consumption per capita. The exponential probability distribution of wages, predicted by the statistical equilibrium theory of a labor market developed by Foley in 1996, is supported by empirical data on income distribution in the USA for the majority (about 97%) of population. In addition, the upper tail of income distribution (about 3% of population) follows a power law and expands dramatically during financial bubbles, which results in a significant increase of the overall income inequality. A mathematical analysis of the empirical data clearly demonstrates the two-class structure of a society, as pointed out Karl Marx and recently highlighted by the Occupy Movement. Empirical data for the energy consumption per capita around the world are close to an exponential distribution, which can be also explained by the entropy maximization principle.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene and nep-hme
Date: 2012-04
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.6483 Latest version (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:arx:papers:1204.6483

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Papers from arXiv.org
Series data maintained by arXiv administrators ().

 
Page updated 2017-09-29
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1204.6483