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The transfer of statistical equilibrium from physics to economics


  • Parrinello, Sergio
  • Fujimoto, Takao


Two applications of the concept of statistical equilibrium, taken from statistical mechanics, are compared: a simple model of a pure exchange economy, constructed as an alternative to a walrasian exchange equilibrium, and a simple model of an industry, in which statistical equilibrium is used as a complement to the classical long period equilibrium. The postulate of equal probability of all possible microstates is critically re-examined. Equal probabilities are deduced as a steady state of linear and non-linear Markov chains. S. Parrinello wrote the first draft, presented at the “Conference Growth, Unemployment and Distribution: alternative approaches”, (New School for Social Research, New York, March 1995) and published as a Working Paper of the Dipartimento di Economia Pubblica, Università "La Sapienza", Roma (July, 1995). Later T. Fujimoto added section 4 together with Appendix II. Abridged Italian version: S. Parrinello, "Equilibri Statistici e Nuovi Microfondamenti della Macroeconomia", in Incertezza, Moneta, Aspettative ed Equilibrio: saggi in onore di Fausto Vicarelli, a cura di Claudio Gnesutta, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1996.

Suggested Citation

  • Parrinello, Sergio & Fujimoto, Takao, 1995. "The transfer of statistical equilibrium from physics to economics," MPRA Paper 30830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30830

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Newman & J. N. Wolfe, 1961. "A Model for the Long-Run Theory of Value," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 51-61.
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    Statistical equilibrium; thermodynamics; industrial economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B16 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Quantitative and Mathematical


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