Recent Economic Thought

Economics and Thermodynamics

New Perspectives on Economic Analysis

Editors: Burley, Peter, Foster, John (Eds.)

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About this book

Over the past two decades we have witnessed something of a revolution in the natural sciences as thermodynamic thinking evolved from an equilibrium, or 'classical', perspective, to a nonequilibrium, or 'self­ organisational' one. In this transition, thermodynamics has been applied in new ways and in new fields of inquiry. Chemical and biological (evolutionary) processes have been analysed, increasingly, in non­ equilibrium thermodynamical terms. Economics has, since the late 19th century, relied heavily upon metaphors and analogies derived from the natural sciences - mechanical analogies cast in terms of traditional Newtonian physics and expressed in terms of Cartesian logic have been especially popular. Thermodynamics, on the other hand, has been less popular, despite its early application in economics by Stanley Jevons, the father of modern notions of utility maximisation in neoclassical economics, and despite its promotion in economic contexts by Paul Samuelson, the author of the definitive treatise upon which post war neoclassical economic theory was based, namely, his Foundations of Economic Analysis. The general neglect of thermodynamic thinking in economics was brought to our attention by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen in the late 1960s, by which time economic theory, evidenced in, for example, the Arrow­ Debreu general eqUilibrium system, had become so sophisticated that it could not be penetrated by thermodynamical ideas. To Georgescu­ Roegen, this presented something of a crisis in economics because neglect of thermodynamics led, in his view, to blindness amongst economists to an economy/environment problem in the global economy.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Burley, Peter (et al.)

    Pages 1-8

  • An Essay in Macroeconomics

    Bródy, Andras (et al.)

    Pages 9-16

  • The Use of Thermodynamic Models in Economics

    Bródy, Andras

    Pages 17-22

  • A Survey of Thermodynamical Ideas

    Christie, John R.

    Pages 23-37

  • Economic Development as an Escape from Full Employment Entropy Ceilings

    Burley, Peter

    Pages 39-45

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-015-8269-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-9446-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-5796-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Economics and Thermodynamics
Book Subtitle
New Perspectives on Economic Analysis
Editors
  • Peter Burley
  • John Foster
Series Title
Recent Economic Thought
Series Volume
38
Copyright
1994
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-8269-8
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-8269-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-9446-4
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5796-9
Series ISSN
0924-199X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 258
Topics