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Pareto tails in socio-economic phenomena: A kinetic description

Author

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  • Gualandi, Stefano
  • Toscani, Giuseppe

Abstract

Various phenomena related to socio-economic aspects of our daily life exhibit equilibrium densities characterized by a power law decay. Maybe the most known example of this property is concerned with wealth distribution in a western society. In this case the polynomial decay at infinity is referred to as Pareto tails phenomenon (Pareto, Cours d'économie politique, 1964). In this note, the authors discuss a possible source of this behavior by resorting to the powerful approach of statistical mechanics, which enlightens the analogies with the classical kinetic theory of rarefied gases. Among other examples, the distribution of populations in towns and cities is illustrated and discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gualandi, Stefano & Toscani, Giuseppe, 2017. "Pareto tails in socio-economic phenomena: A kinetic description," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-111, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:2017111
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Federico Bassetti & Giuseppe Toscani, 2010. "Explicit equilibria in a kinetic model of gambling," Papers 1002.3689, arXiv.org.
    2. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Marc Mezard, 2000. "Wealth condensation in a simple model of economy," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500026, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    3. Adrian Dragulescu & Victor M. Yakovenko, 2000. "Statistical mechanics of money," Papers cond-mat/0001432, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2000.
    4. Bouchaud, Jean-Philippe & Mézard, Marc, 2000. "Wealth condensation in a simple model of economy," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 282(3), pages 536-545.
    5. Arnab Chatterjee & Bikas K. Chakrabarti & Robin B. Stinchcombe, 2005. "Master equation for a kinetic model of trading market and its analytic solution," Papers cond-mat/0501413, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2005.
    6. Chatterjee, Arnab & K. Chakrabarti, Bikas & Manna, S.S, 2004. "Pareto law in a kinetic model of market with random saving propensity," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 335(1), pages 155-163.
    7. Arnab Chatterjee & Bikas K. Chakrabarti & S. S. Manna, 2003. "Pareto Law in a Kinetic Model of Market with Random Saving Propensity," Papers cond-mat/0301289, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2004.
    8. Ben-Naim, E & Krapivsky, P.L & Vazquez, F & Redner, S, 2003. "Unity and discord in opinion dynamics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 330(1), pages 99-106.
    9. Bee, Marco & Riccaboni, Massimo & Schiavo, Stefano, 2013. "The size distribution of US cities: Not Pareto, even in the tail," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 232-237.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    kinetic models; Boltzmann-type equations; multi-agent systems; economic modeling;

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models

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