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Econophysical visualization of Adam Smith’s invisible hand

Author

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  • Cohen, Morrel H.
  • Eliazar, Iddo I.

Abstract

Consider a complex system whose macrostate is statistically observable, but yet whose operating mechanism is an unknown black-box. In this paper we address the problem of inferring, from the system’s macrostate statistics, the system’s intrinsic force yielding the observed statistics. The inference is established via two diametrically opposite approaches which result in the very same intrinsic force: a top-down approach based on the notion of entropy, and a bottom-up approach based on the notion of Langevin dynamics. The general results established are applied to the problem of visualizing the intrinsic socioeconomic force–Adam Smith’s invisible hand–shaping the distribution of wealth in human societies. Our analysis yields quantitative econophysical representations of figurative socioeconomic forces, quantitative definitions of “poor” and “rich”, and a quantitative characterization of the “poor-get-poorer” and the “rich-get-richer” phenomena.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen, Morrel H. & Eliazar, Iddo I., 2013. "Econophysical visualization of Adam Smith’s invisible hand," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(4), pages 813-823.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:392:y:2013:i:4:p:813-823
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.11.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alfarano, Simone & Milakovic, Mishael, 2008. "Does classical competition explain the statistical features of firm growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 272-274, December.
    2. Alfarano, Simone & Milaković, Mishael & Irle, Albrecht & Kauschke, Jonas, 2012. "A statistical equilibrium model of competitive firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-149.
    3. N. Lesca, 2010. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640602, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smerlak, Matteo, 2016. "Thermodynamics of inequalities: From precariousness to economic stratification," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 441(C), pages 40-50.
    2. Luckstead, Jeff & Devadoss, Stephen, 2017. "Pareto tails and lognormal body of US cities size distribution," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 465(C), pages 573-578.

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