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Economics: the next physical science?



We review an emerging body of work by physicists addressing questions of economic organization and function. We suggest that, beyond simply employing models familiar from physics to economic observables, remarkable regularities in economic data may suggest parts of social order that can usefully be incorporated into, and in turn can broaden, the conceptual structure of physics.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Doyne Farmer & Martin Shubik & Eric Smith, 2005. "Economics: the next physical science?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1520, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1520
    Note: CFP 1160.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Testing Continuous-Time Models of the Spot Interest Rate," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 385-426.
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    Cited by:

    1. Winther, K. Tobias, 2008. "Analyzing new profit opportunities: a guide to making business projects financially successful," MPRA Paper 11346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bongo Adi & Kenneth Amaeshi & Suminori Tokunaga, 2005. "Rational Choice, Scientific Method and Social Scientism," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0509001, EconWPA.
    3. Victor M. Yakovenko, 2012. "Applications of statistical mechanics to economics: Entropic origin of the probability distributions of money, income, and energy consumption," Papers 1204.6483,
    4. Sitabhra Sinha & Raj Kumar Pan, 2006. "The Power (Law) of Indian Markets: Analysing NSE and BSE trading statistics," Papers physics/0605247,

    More about this item


    Economic theory; Physics; Econo-physics;

    JEL classification:

    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other
    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General

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