Thermodynamic analogies in economics and finance: instability of markets
Interest in thermodynamic analogies in economics is older than the idea of von Neumann to look for market entropy in liquidity, advice that was not taken in any thermodynamic analogy presented so far in the literature. In this paper we go further and use a standard strategy from trading theory to pinpoint why thermodynamic analogies necessarily fail to describe financial markets, in spite of the presence of liquidity as the underlying basis for market entropy. Market liquidity of frequently traded assets does play the role of the ‘heat bath‘, as anticipated by von Neumann, but we are able to identify the no-arbitrage condition geometrically as an assumption of translational and rotational invariance rather than (as finance theorists would claim) an equilibrium condition. We then use the empirical market distribution to introduce an asset’s entropy and discuss the underlying reason why real financial markets cannot behave thermodynamically: financial markets are unstable, they do not approach statistical equilibrium, nor are there any available topological invariants on which to base a purely formal statistical mechanics. After discussing financial markets, we finally generalize our result by proposing that the idea of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand is a falsifiable proposition: we suggest how to test nonfinancial markets empirically for the stabilizing action of The Invisible Hand.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Per Bak & Simon F. Norrelykke & Martin Shubik, 1998.
"The Dynamics of Money,"
Research in Economics
98-11-102e, Santa Fe Institute.
- J. Doyne Farmer, 2002.
"Market force, ecology and evolution,"
Industrial and Corporate Change,
Oxford University Press, vol. 11(5), pages 895-953, November.
- McCauley, Joseph L. & Gunaratne, Gemunu H., 2003. "An empirical model of volatility of returns and option pricing," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 329(1), pages 178-198.
- Leonard I. Nakamura, 2000. "Economics and the new economy: the invisible hand meets creative destruction," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 15-30.
- McCauley, Joseph L. & Gunaratne, Gemunu H., 2003.
"An empirical model of volatility of returns and option pricing,"
2161, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- J.L. McCauley & G.h. Gunaratne, 2002. "An empirical model of volatility of returns and option pricing," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 186, Society for Computational Economics.
- Gemunu H. Gunaratne & Joseph L. McCauley, 2002. "A theory for Fluctuations in Stock Prices and Valuation of their Options," Papers cond-mat/0209475, arXiv.org.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2159. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.