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Optimal Processes in Irreversible Thermodynamics and Microeconomics


  • Anatoly M. Tsirlin

    () (Program System Institute - Russian Academy of Science)

  • Vladimir A. Kazakov

    (Program System Institute - Russian Academy of Science)


This paper describes general methodology that allows one to extend Carnot efficiency of classical thermodynamic for zero rate processes onto thermodynamic systems with finite rate. We define the class of minimal dissipation processes and show that it represents generalization of reversible processes and determines the limiting possibilities of finite rate systems. The described methodology is then applied to microeconomic exchange systems yielding novel estimates of limiting efficiencies for such systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Anatoly M. Tsirlin & Vladimir A. Kazakov, 2004. "Optimal Processes in Irreversible Thermodynamics and Microeconomics," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage:, vol. 2(1), pages 29-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:29-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samuelson, Paul A, 1972. "Maximum Principles in Analytical Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 249-262, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roma, Antonio & Pirino, Davide, 2009. "The extraction of natural resources: The role of thermodynamic efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2594-2606, August.


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