Fifteen years of econophysics: worries, hopes and prospects
This anniversary paper is an occasion to recall some of the events that shaped institutional econophysics. But in these thoughts about the evolution of econophysics in the last 15 years we also express some concerns. Our main worry concerns the relinquishment of the simplicity requirement. Ever since the groundbreaking experiments of Galileo some three centuries ago, the great successes of physicists were largely due to the fact that they were able to decompose complex phenomena into simpler ones. Remember that the first observation of the effects of an electrical current was made by Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) on the leg of a frog! Clearly, to make sense this observation had to be broken down into several separate effects. Nowadays, with computers being able to handle huge amounts of data and to simulate any stochastic process no matter how complicated, there is no longer any real need for such a search for simplicity. Why should one spend time and effort trying to break up complicated phenomena when it is possible to handle them globally? On this new road there are several stumbling blocks, however. Do such global mathematical descriptions lead to a real understanding? Do they produce building blocks which can be used elsewhere and thus make our knowledge and comprehension to grow in a cumulative way? Should econophysics also adopt the "globalized" perspective that has been endorsed, developed and spread by the numerous "Complexity Departments" which sprang up during the last decade?
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Arnab Chatterjee & Sitabhra Sinha & Bikas K. Chakrabarti, 2007. "Economic Inequality: Is it Natural?," Papers physics/0703201, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2007.
- Bertrand M. Roehner, 1996. "The Role of Transportation Costs in the Economics of Commodity Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 339-353.
- Li, Xiaojia & Li, Menghui & Hu, Yanqing & Di, Zengru & Fan, Ying, 2010. "Detecting community structure from coherent oscillation of excitable systems," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(1), pages 164-170.
- Stanley, H.E. & Buldyrev, S.V. & Goldberger, A.L. & Goldberger, Z.D. & Havlin, S. & Mantegna, R.N. & Ossadnik, S.M. & Peng, C.-K. & Simons, M., 1994. "Statistical mechanics in biology: how ubiquitous are long-range correlations?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 205(1), pages 214-253.
- Stanley, H.E. & Afanasyev, V. & Amaral, L.A.N. & Buldyrev, S.V. & Goldberger, A.L. & Havlin, S. & Leschhorn, H. & Maass, P. & Mantegna, R.N. & Peng, C.-K. & Prince, P.A. & Salinger, M.A. & Stanley, M., 1996. "Anomalous fluctuations in the dynamics of complex systems: from DNA and physiology to econophysics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 224(1), pages 302-321.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. " The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 129-48.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Richmond, Peter, 2007. "A roof over your head; house price peaks in the UK and Ireland," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 375(1), pages 281-287.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1004.3229. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (arXiv administrators)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.