Economics and Thermodynamics: New Perspectives on Economic Analysis / Edition 1

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This book offers insights into recent research focusing on the interface between thermodynamics and economics. Although nonequilibrium thermodynamics and self-organisation appear to offer more exciting possibilities for economic application, the early papers in the volume demonstrate that economic insights are still derivable from the standpoint of classical thermodynamics. In particular, the analytical framework set out decades ago by John von Neumann is shown to be a particularly rich source of insights and new perspectives.
The book attempts both to promote and critically evaluate the application of nonequilibrium thermodynamics of economics. The latter part of the book stresses that there are aspects of socioeconomic systems which we cannot understand using only the thermodynamic analogy, although thermodynamic metaphors can still offer us inspiration in formulating unique characterisations of economic complexity and organisation. The emerging fields of artificial life simulation and the mathematics of nonlinear dynamics also have a role to play in the paradigmatic shift which is now found in economics. Furthermore, it has to be acknowledged that a great deal of economic wisdom currently contained in orthodox economic thought will be of continued relevance and, indeed, may constitute much of the distinctiveness of self-organisational processes in the domain of economic analysis.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792394464
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 8/31/1994
  • Series: Recent Economic Thought Series, #38
  • Edition description: 1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. An Essay in Macroeconomics; A. Bródy, K. Martinás, K. Sajó. 2. The Use of Thermodynamic Models in Economics; A. Bródy. 3. A Survey of Thermodynamical Ideas; J.R. Christie. 4. Economic Development as an Escape from Full Employment Entropy Ceilings; P. Burley. 5. Comparative Thermodynamics in Chemistry and Economics; J.A. Reiss. 6. A Non-Equilibrium Evolutionary Economic Theory; R.U. Ayres, K. Martinás. 7. Conservation of Mass and the Time Behaviour of Ecological-Economic Systems; C. Perrings. 8. Entropy, Liberty and Catastrophe: the Physics and Metaphysics of Waste Disposal; M. O'Connor. 9. The Self-Organisation Approach in Economics; J. Foster. 10. A Thermodynamic Analysis of Library Operation; G.J. Troup. 11. From Entropy to Economy: a Thorny Path; C. Dyke. 12. Thermodynamics and Chaos in Economic Prediction; G.C. O'Brien. Index.
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