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Statistical Equilibrium Methods in Analytical Political Economy

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  • Ellis Scharfenaker

Abstract

Economic systems produce robust statistical patterns in key sate variables including prices and incomes. Statistical equilibrium methods explain the distributional proper- ties of state variables as arising from specific institutional and behavioral postulates. Two traditions have developed in political economy with the complementary aim of conceptualizing economic processes as irreducibly statistical phenomena but differ in their methodologies and interpretations of statistical explanation. These conceptual differences broadly mirror the methodological divisions in statistical mechanics, but also emerge in distinct ways when considered in the context of social sciences. This paper surveys the use of statistical equilibrium methods in analytical political economy and identifies the leading methodological and philosophical questions in this growing field of research.

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  • Ellis Scharfenaker, 2020. "Statistical Equilibrium Methods in Analytical Political Economy," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2020_05, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uta:papers:2020_05
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    Cited by:

    1. Scharfenaker, Ellis, 2020. "Implications of quantal response statistical equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    2. Jonathan F. Cogliano & Roberto Veneziani & Naoki Yoshihara, 2022. "Computational methods and classical‐Marxian economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 310-349, April.
    3. Roberto Veneziani & Luca Zamparelli, 2022. "Analytical political economy: Complexity, growth, international trade," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 271-275, April.
    4. Ellis Scharfenaker, Duncan K. Foley, 2023. "The Neutrality of Money Reconsidered: A Statistical Equilibrium Model of the Labor Market," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2023_02, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    5. Danial Ludwig & Victor M. Yakovenko, 2021. "Physics-inspired analysis of the two-class income distribution in the USA in 1983-2018," Papers 2110.03140, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2022.
    6. Benjamin Patrick Evans & Mikhail Prokopenko, 2021. "A maximum entropy model of bounded rational decision-making with prior beliefs and market feedback," Papers 2102.09180, arXiv.org, revised May 2021.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Statistical equilibrium; Classical political economy; Maximum entropy; Information theory; Stochastic methods JEL Classification: B41; B51; C18; D30; E10;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology

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